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(All events on Oahu, unless noted)


Man Up & Stand Up
Waipahu Filcom Center, Waipahu)

Man Up & Stand Up
Waipahu Filcom Center, Waipahu)

Aloha State 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)

2011 Sera's Kajukenbo Open Tournament
(Continuous Sparring, MMA (Controlled), and Submission Grappling)
(War Memorial Gym, Wailuku, Maui)

Chozun 2
(The Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace, Honolulu)

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

Kauai Cage Fights
(Kilohana Estates)

Big Boys & MMA Hawaii Expo
Neal Blaisdell Center, Honolulu)

Hawaii Triple Crown
“State Championships”
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Neal Blaisdell Center, Honolulu)

UpNUp: On The Rise
(Neal Blaisdell Center, Honolulu)

Destiny: Fury II
(Neal Blaisdell Center, Honolulu)

Genesis “76 South Showdown Kickboxing”
(Campbell H.S. Gym, Ewa Beach)

World Jiu-Jitsu Championship

HUAWA Grappling Tournament 2011
Grappling Series II
(Submission grappling)
(Mililani H.S. Gym, Mililani)

Battleground 808
(The Waterfront, Aloha Tower)

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

Scraplafest 3
(BJJ & Submission Grappling)
(Island School, Puhi, Kauai, behind Kauai Commuity College)

Kauai Knockout Championship II: Mortal Combat
(Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall, Lihue)

Boxing Smoker
(Palolo District Gym)

Just Scrap
(Hilo Civic Center, Hilo)

Destiny: Fury II
(Blaisdell Arena)

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)

Destiny & 808 Battleground presents "Supremacy"
(Aloha Tower Waterfront)

Fight Girls Hawaii
(Waipahu Filcom Center)

Toughman Hawaii
(Hilo Civic Ctr)

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

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

HUAWA Grappling Tourney
(Sub Grappling)
(Mililani HS Gym)

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

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

Just Scrap
(Hilo Civic Auditorium, Hilo)

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)
 News & Rumors
Click Here

May 2011 News Part 2

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!

Onzuka.com Hawaii Underground Forum is Online!

Chris, Mark, and I wanted to start an official Onzuka.com 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 MMA.tv. 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 Onzuka.com Hawaii Underground Forum

Want to Advertise on Onzuka.com?

Click here for pricing and more information!
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:


Kauai Knockout Championship II: Mortal Combat

Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall, Lihue, Kauai
May 20, 2011
5:00PM Doors Open

Scrapplers Fest Jiu Jitsu Tournament Tomorrow
Island School, Puhi, Kauai
(Right behind Kauai Community College)
Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kids weights and brackets will be made that morning to make fairest match ups!

White, Blue belts and Beginner no gi (3 years and under) 131-under, 132-145, 146-159, 160-173, 174-187, 188-201, 202-215, 216-above

Purple-above belts and Advanced no gi (+3years)

159-below, 160-180, 181-201, 202-above

Also having a 36 year old and above class for gi white belts and blue belts!

***Not advertised but Relson Gracie students get an additional $10 off entry fees.***

Pre-Register by May 20th and pay

Entry fees on May 21st

Men can add 36-above division to Men division only $10 more! Or just compete in that division for the Men price

Weigh ins at Scrappa Lifestylez store in Hanamaulu next to the post office from 5pm-9pm on Friday May 20th.

Also, tournament day weigh ins kids/adults till 9am!! And I mean 9am!

Kids start at 10am
Adults start at 1230pm

Make sure competitors are there at tournament site at least 1 1/2 hours before estimated times.

There will be no food allowed in the gym. There will also be food and drinks available there.

Also no smoking on school grounds, and no one allowed on the school playgrounds.

Spectators- $5 for kids and $7 for adults.

Competitors will receive competitor shirts while their size last!

Source: Pono Pananganan

Matt Comeau vs. David Padilla

Thomas Sedano vs. Bryson Kamaka

Kris Kyle vs. Brensen Hansen

Monica Franco vs. Rachael Ostovich

Bruski Louis vs. L. John Borges

Doug Hiu vs. Blayn Wagoner

Eric Dean vs. Ryan Delacruz

Drake Fujimoto vs. Jared Iha

Keenin Cohen vs. Joey Balai

Chris Bernard vs. Terrence Taanoa

Apuauro Turano vs. Ezekiel Gonda

Justin Burgess vs. Jacob Chun

Nathan Maglinti vs. Cassius Kegler

Jared Gonda vs. Jason Dumoal

Kevin Natividad vs. Kolten Choy Foo

Source: 808 Battleground

Chael Sonnen’s Indefinite Suspension Upheld, May Prompt Retirement
by Ken Pishna

The long and winding road of Chael Sonnen’s career just careened down a steep descent of switchbacks on Wednesday, possibly signaling his retirement from mixed martial arts competition.
Sonnen, who just recently thought he would be reinstated as a fighter in both California and Nevada, was back before the California State Athletic Commission on Wednesday. He was trying to alleviate a recent indefinite suspension handed down by California, but the end result was a continuation of that suspension.

CSAC Executive Director George Dodd, in speaking with MMAWeekly.com last week, confirmed the two factors behind the current suspension: Sonnen’s guilty plea for his money laundering case in Oregon, and also the possibility of false testimony during the UFC fighter’s hearing before the commission on Dec. 2, 2010, to appeal his last suspension.

“What we’re going to be looking at is his testimony (about) his discussion that he had with the Nevada State Athletic Commission,” Dodd explained. “Because that could have led some of the commissioners to change or sway their vote as far as… the testosterone use. So, we’re going to look at that.”

And that is exactly the tack the commission took, under the representation of deputy district attorney general Karen Chappelle, and with testimony from Keith Kizer, the executive director of Nevada’s athletic commission.

Sonnen was questioned heavily about his Federal money laundering conviction in Oregon, and the statements he made not only to the athletic commission at a December hearing, but also comments he made in media interviews.

The commission argued that Sonnen had been misleading in some of his statements both at the December hearing and in the media, particularly about his interaction with the Nevada commission regarding his testosterone therapy for hypogonadism.

Sonnen responded by saying he had relied upon poor information from others, both in regards to whether or not he was clear to fight while under the testosterone treatment and in regards to the money laundering charge. He said that he had since taken the step of handling such matters directly, not leaving issues such as matters with the athletic commission to his manager, Matt Lindland.

“If I am not granted a license to fight, I will be effectively retired,” Sonnen pleaded, the emotion evident on his face. “I don’t want to retire today.”

At the end of the day, the hearing about whether or not to license Sonnen in California boiled down to his alleged inconsistent statements and the money laundering conviction.

During deliberation, the consensus among commissioners was that the inconsistent statements were the primary consideration regarding Sonnen’s licensure in California, not so much the money laundering conviction.

The commission openly doubted the sincerity of Sonnen’s statements; commissioner Eugene Hernandez referenced a comment Sonnen made during Wednesday’s hearing as to part of the reason why.

“When I am on stage I am performing. No different than any other actor. I charge for those interviews,” he had said in regards to the media interviews that were called into question.
Following closing testimony, Hernandez motioned for Sonnen’s current suspension to be upheld indefinitely. The motion was quickly seconded by commissioner Christopher Giza.

After hearing public comment, which included a plea from Sonnen’s mother, the commission voted 4-1 to uphold the indefinite suspension. That means that Sonnen is under suspension until June 29, 2011, when his current license expires. The soonest he would be allowed to re-apply for a license in California would be June of 2012.

CSAC Executive Director George Dodd told MMAWeekly.com that the action is under his jurisdiction only, and that Sonnen could try to get licensed in other states, similar to Josh Barnett, who has not regained his license in California, but will be fighting in Texas in June. It is up to the other state commissions to decide whether or not California’s ruling has any effect on their consideration of granting Sonnen a license.

Sonnen was believed to be under strong consideration to coach on Season 14 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” The outcome of Wednesday’s hearing effectively knocks him out of any further contention for the position.

Source: MMA Weekly

Dream Champ Zaromskis Headlines June 10 Card in Ontario
by Chris Nelson

Dream welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis will add another stamp to his passport next month.

Canadian cable sports channel Score Television Network announced Wednesday that Zaromskis will headline the June 10 installment of its Score Fighting Series at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Standing across from the hard-hitting Lithuanian will be up-and-coming Canadian prospect Jordan Mein.

Also added to the card was a lightweight matchup between Toronto-based Brazilian Jorge Britto and Saskatoon’s Kurt Southern, who comes fresh off a March 11 win over regarded Canadian lightweight Brad Cardinal. Other notables expected to compete include Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Joe Doerksen, Luigi Fiorvanti and Antonio Carvalho.

Zaromskis, 30, rose to prominence with a vicious run through Dream’s 2009 welterweight grand prix. The “Whitemare” scored head-kick knockouts of both Hayato “Mach” Sakurai and Jason High on a single night in July 2009 to become the Japanese promotion’s inaugural 170-pound ace.

In 2010, Zaromskis suffered back-to-back first-round knockouts in the Strikeforce cage, falling to both Nick Diaz and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. The London Shootfighters representative returned to Japan on Dec. 31 to defend his belt against aging legend Kazushi Sakuraba, who he defeated by doctor stoppage in just over two minutes.

A native of Lethbridge, Alberta, Mein began his fighting career at just 16 years of age. Now 21, “Young Guns” has racked up a record of 21-7, including 12 knockouts and seven submission wins. Mein has won eight of his last nine starts, falling only to current Strikeforce signee High in an August unanimous decision. The Canadian Martial Arts Centre fighter has fought and won thrice in 2011, besting UFC veterans Joe Riggs and Josh Burkman, as well as Canadian finisher Keto Allen.

“I pride myself on being entertaining and putting on a good show for the crowd,” Mein stated in a Wednesday release. “I know Marius will give me a great fight and test my abilities.”

Source: Sherdog

Another dose of reality for The Ultimate Fighter; dos Santos a 70% favorite over Carwin in Vegas
By Zach Arnold

So, yesterday an alert was sent out to various members of the MMA media that the UFC deems fit to be kept in the loop on conference call notices. (And here I thought I would be on their list since I’ve been on their payroll all these years.) Nevertheless, an emergency conference call was issued by Zuffa and the call started out like this from Dana White.

“Unfortunately, this isn’t a good call. It’s a bad call. Former UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar has diverticulitis again. He spent all day yesterday over at The Mayo Clinic, has gone through a bumper-to-bumper I guess we’ll call it of tests and, uh, you know, this thing acted up on him again. He’s got some serious, uh… choices to make in the next couple of weeks whether to fight this thing or to take, uh, the surgery.”

At that point, you had to be thinking a million different things. Is Brock’s illness career-threatening? Is he backing out because ratings have tanked so far for this season of The Ultimate Fighter?
You should have been on Twitter & Facebook yesterday. The venom spewed towards Brock Lesnar once this news broke was unreal. You can never mix up an online reaction with the reaction of mainstream fans, but the online reaction was so anti-Lesnar that one could have mistaken him for being some sort of terrorist. Tons of cracks about diarrhea, steroids, cowardice, and ‘he’s taking his ball and going back to pro-wrestling’ were flying by the second. There were definitely some fans who showed support for Brock in terms of wanting to see him recover and get back into good health, but the majority of the online response was really harsh.

On the Thursday conference call, Brock answered all questions thrown at him and went out of his way to be open about the situation.

“I’ve been dealing with some symptoms for the last, I would say, three months. I felt a little bit while I was filming The Ultimate Fighter and the only way to treat the symptoms is by getting on antibiotics and allowing the antibiotics to take its course and to fight the infection and during the course of this training camp, I felt another infection, got another CT scan done on my stomach where there was visible inflammation.

“What it does to you, it didn’t allow me to train to my full capabilities and I was forced to make a decsion to go back down to the doctor this week to figure out how far this thing’s along and what it does is it drains my entire body down. Basically you’ve got an infection in your stomach and all my resources went to fight this problem instead of rebuilding what I tore down in the gym so it’s not as serious as last time. It just didn’t allow me to train the way I needed to train for a #1 contender’s bout. I am forced with the decision to either have surgery or do deal with this for the rest of my life, so obviously I’m fighting a different fight here, you know, than having to give up the fight on June 11th so a lot of things go through your mind as an athlete, especially myself, you know. This is something that has been wearing on me for about a month now and different thoughts come to your mind.”

He proceeded to say it wouldn’t be fair to himself, Junior, or Spike TV to keep going with the scheduled June 11th bout in Vancouver if he was sick. For fans of The Ultimate Fighter, it was the third ‘blown payoff’ that the show has recently produced. Facing a dwindling audience base for the television program, UFC has every right to be concerned.

Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz were going to have another grudge match. Tito ended up pulling out due to surgery needed. The payoff was killed. Rich Franklin replaced Tito as coach. He then fought Chuck in Vancouver and put Liddell into retirement. If you are a Chuck Liddell fan, that was the worst kind of punch to the gut you could possibly get.

Rampage Jackson, Kimbo Slice, and Rashad Evans had their triangle (sort of speaking) which produced the big ratings you expected it to. The payoff would be the two coaches fighting in Memphis (Rampage’s stomping grounds). He blew that off to go film the A-Team Movie. The payoff was delivered months later and did great business. The fight itself was nothing to brag about and there was plenty of online chatter about the fight in regards to whether it should have been a five round contest (or not). As for Rampage’s movie career, not so much movement after the A-Team project. A year later, he’s a ‘cold’ act and stuck headlining a UFC 130 PPV that has little fan interest.

And now we have Brock Lesnar having to cancel his booking against Junior dos Santos. A lot of truths were revealed once the series started airing on Spike TV. The first truth is that too many people hate Brock Lesnar to want to accept him for who he is. They want Brock Lesnar: The Character, not Brock Lesnar: The Person. Second, Junior dos Santos is not a mainstream star and UFC should be concerned about whether or not he can attract casual fans. Building upon that, the third truth is that UFC needs to hope that mainstream fans will buy JDS as a credible top heavyweight. I cannot get over the fact that 83% of ESPN viewers said Brock Lesnar was a tougher fighter than JDS when this season of Ultimate Fighter started.

UFC is very concerned about Brock’s future in MMA and rightfully so. Brock went out of his way on the conference call to stress that he would not retire.

“I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not retiring. This isn’t the end of my fight career, OK? This is something that I believe and I have a strong faith there’s a solution to every problem, I just got to find the right solution to fix this problem. I love this sport and I love what I do, this isn’t the end of Brock Lesnar. This is a speed bump in the road and, trust me, I’ve (endured) a lot of speed bumps throughout my career and this is one of them. Instead of not facing the music, I’m here to tell everybody because I’ve been here before and we want to make it known that I want to state that this is not the end of my career. Far from it.”

He was asked to elaborate on the problems the diverticulitis created this time.

“I can just tell you my symptoms, you know, I have abdominal pain and what happens to me is when I’m training I don’t have the recovery. My immune system is going to fight an infection inside of my stomach and my whole immune system, it runs me down. So, because of what happened to me last time, I took it about three weeks farther than I should have and didn’t address the situation without antibiotics or the right medication, so I don’t want to go down that road again so there isn’t a fight in the world that’s more important than my health. This fight is more important to me than a physical fight, so that’s where I’m at right now.”

With GSP finishing the UFC 129 PPV in Toronto on a flat note and Brock Lesnar now out of action for the time being, UFC is on shaky ground with their major PPV drawing cards. Bet Nick Diaz & Cesar Gracie are happier than pigs rolling in mud right about now in terms of their negotiating leverage and power.

With so many injuries and big name draws dropping like flies, UFC is in a really difficult predicament. Trying to make the best of the situation with the Vancouver PPV, the promotion announced that Shane Carwin would fill in for Brock Lesnar to fight Junior dos Santos. The immediate reaction was one of universal glee online. Now we have a more competitive fight with a guaranteed finish that is sure to be magnificent. With that said, UFC’s move serves as a double whammy. By booking this fight for the Vancouver event, any oxygen that was left in the room for hardcore fans to care about UFC 130 just dissipated. All of that energy now will be focused on the Vancouver event and for good reason. Meanwhile, the name ID value from Brock Lesnar to Shane Carwin is a drop-off and I expect the casual, mainstream interest in the Vancouver main event to take a hit from what it originally was going to be. Now, I’m not suggesting that JDS/Lesnar was setting the world on fire (it didn’t), but Shane Carwin is about as low-key and mellow of a personality as you are going to get to hype up a fight. Same with JDS. Two similar personalities is not going to help sell PPV buys.

As for the initial fight line from the Las Vegas odds makers, JDS is a -260 favorite. That translates to Vegas giving him slightly over a 70% chance of winning this contest.

Was it the right move for UFC to book JDS vs. Carwin? Oh yes. It was the only move they really had at this point. In a strange way, the Frank Mir/Roy Nelson fight suddenly has more meaning because of the shake-up with Brock taking time off.

As for the future of The Ultimate Fighter, what can be said that hasn’t already been stated in the past? The format is stale, old, and unproductive. In order to revitalize the meaning of the show, the producers changed the focus of the show from actually developing real major-league talent to focusing on hawking PPV buys between two coaches feuding on television for weeks at a time. What you ended up with is watered-down prospects and generally lousy fights with coaches who often can’t deliver on a promised payoff because of injuries or other commitments that take place after the show is taped. On top of that, the ‘winners’ of the newer seasons aren’t active on television, are buried on PPV dark match slots, and largely end up being relegated to the dustbin of history. What’s the point of this exercise? Why not just have two coaches build up a fight over the time span of a few months without any sort of competition? A slow build. What a novel concept.

Source: Fight Opinion

Thanks to Matt Hamill, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson Now Wants to Break His Will More Than Ever
by Damon Martin

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson isn’t particularly excited to face Matt Hamill at UFC 130, but that’s not a slight on his opponent, he’s just not excited to face anyone in particular.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion spoke on Thursday about recent comments he had made expressing that he didn’t find a lot of excitement in his fight coming up on May 28.

It wasn’t necessarily anything against Hamill, but according to Jackson, fighting is his job and how he puts food on the table. That’s it.

“If they get to know me, I’m not really excited about anybody I fight,” Jackson stated. “It’s my job to me; it’s my career. I don’t get excited no more. I’ve got almost 40 fights. I don’t get excited about anybody I fight. I just go in and do it.”

If Jackson takes any heat for such statements, it doesn’t really bother him because while he’s out to perform and win every fight he’s involved in, his deepest concern lies with taking care of his family.

Jackson loves the fans that support him, but ultimately he answers only to the family that relies on him every single day.

“That stuff don’t bother me at all what they say or what they think. It’s my life, it’s my family I take care of, and I have my goals and my plans, things I’m going to do to make me happy. That’s all I really care about, me and my family,” Jackson said.

“The fans I’m just here to entertain them, but do I care about them the way I do my family? Hell no.”

Excitement is different than motivation, however, when it comes to Jackson’s feelings towards facing Hamill at UFC 130.

Hamill had made some comments about how he was approaching the fight with Rampage, and how he believed he could break the former light heavyweight champion’s will when they step into the Octagon together.

Unwittingly, Hamill may have actually provided Jackson with just the ammunition he needed to push those extra hours of preparation in the gym to make sure he was really ready for their bout.
“I think Matt made a mistake when he actually said he’s going to break my will, and that I’m going to overlook him,” Rampage commented.

“That actually lit a fire up under my ass, and actually made me train a little bit harder just so I could break his will. So I could make sure I could outclass him.”

Jackson will try to prove that fatal error on Hamill’s part when the square off in the main event of UFC 130 next weekend in Las Vegas.

Source: MMA Weekly

Miguel Torres in Rhythm With Firas Zahabi Ahead of UFC 130
By Matt Erickson

Watching Firas Zahabi talk to reporter after reporter in Toronto last month, one almost got the feeling that he might be getting tired of answering questions about Georges St-Pierre.

So why not cut one of the most prominent trainers in the sport some slack, let him get his mind off his welterweight champ for a few minutes?

"Oh – you want me to talk (crap) about Miguel?" Zahabi asks, a smile on his face. "I can do that!"

Zahabi is most famous for the work he does at his Tristar Gym in Montreal with St-Pierre, the UFC welterweight champ, and ahead of GSP's UFC 129 title defense in Toronto against Jake Shields, there were plenty of questions for the coach. But in the last 10 months, Zahabi has taken on a new challenge – revamping the fight game of former bantamweight kingpin Miguel Torres.

And so far, business has been good. Zahabi has helped Torres (39-3, 1-0 UFC) to back-to-back wins after he lost his WEC 135-pound title to Brian Bowles in August 2009, his first career knockout loss, and followed that up by tapping for the first time in a bloody loss to Joseph Benavidez. In fact, Zahabi believes that for Torres, the best is yet to come.

"I still think he's got a lot of potential left, and it's going to take some time to reach that," Zahabi said. "But I don't think he's anywhere near where he's going to be in the future."

But Torres, who mostly self-trained at his own gym in Northwest Indiana until taking up with Zahabi last fall, gives a slightly different account of what his coach tells him in the gym.

"He hasn't told me anything like that," Torres said Wednesday. "Everything he tells me is pretty much negative – and that I'm garbage – so I can get better. But I feel like I'm getting better every day. When I came here, I saw what I was lacking in my game. I knew how much more I could pick up and how much better I could become."

After a submission win over Charlie Valencia at WEC 51 last September and a unanimous decision over Antonio Banuelos in his UFC debut at UFC 126 in February, Torres was given Brad Pickett for UFC 130 next week. But five weeks before the fight, Pickett pulled out with an injury.

Pickett's replacement, Demetrious Johnson (9-1, 1-0 UFC), raised a few eyebrows. Torres' Achille's heel has always been his wrestling. And "Mighty Mouse"? He was a standout high school wrestler in Washington and is coming off a dominating 10-takedown performance to beat Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto in February. But Torres' wrestling is what he has worked on at length since his last loss.

"When I fought Benavidez, I had no wrestling skills whatsoever," Torres said. "Now it's been a year, and all I've been doing is wrestling. Every training camp involves wrestling. Every fight I go into involves wrestling. I'm very confident in my ability to stop takedowns and use counter-shots to take people down."

Zahabi also makes no bones about Torres' wrestling – but concurs with his student that overlooking his ability in that part of his game might be a mistake.

"It's definitely his wrestling – I'll admit to that. I have no problem – I like to say the truth," Zahabi said. "But I'll tell you one thing: He's working very hard on that, and he's not going to be easy to take down. He's going to be even more difficult to hold down, and it's going to be very hard to stop his submissions. So I'm confident for this fight."

And so confident are Torres and Zahabi that they say Torres' height and reach advantage – he's 5-foot-9 vs. Johnson's 5-3 – will force Johnson to shoot. And bring it on.

"Johnson shooting on me is the game plan," Torres said. "I want the guy to try to shoot on me. My whole strength is developed to hit guys – to force them to have to shoot. They can't touch me, they can't strike with me – the longer we stand, the more I win. The longer we stand, the more he has to shoot to win the round. So as he shoots, as he comes in to try and touch me, he's either going to get hit or he's going to get sprawled out. Once he gets sprawled out, he's going to give up his back or his neck. So for me, Demetrious shooting, him engaging me in a shot is going to result in me being able to use my full offense that has developed in the past year with Firas."

And the past year, Zahabi has seen Torres grow from an almost reckless fighter, doing it all on his own, to the kind who can admit his shortcomings and allow himself to be called "garbage" by his coach. (Even if that's a slight Torres exaggeration.)

"I'm very happy with Miguel," Zahabi said. "He's taken some serious steps to move himself forward. It takes somebody who is very proactive, somebody who is very responsible to do that."

Torres and Johnson fight on the preliminary card of UFC 130 on May 28 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will be part of the Spike TV's live prelims broadcast, which starts at 8 p.m. Eastern ahead of the pay-per-view at 9 p.m.

Source: MMA Fighting

Obstacles facing MMA/UFC: CTE/concussions & legitimacy of sport
By Zach Arnold

A couple of items I wanted to bring up here and you can pick & choose what you would like to comment on.

First, a new article that I would recommend you read titled Sports Television Ratings See Huge Growth; UFC Left Out Of The Party. A lot of the points raised in the article are points that my old friend Zack Nelson mentioned a couple of years ago when he told me that MMA had jumped the shark and that things were only going to go downhill.

In essence, the article addresses whether or not Zuffa is experiencing a growth in ratings & legitimacy or if things are stuck in neutral.

Second, Eddie Goldman produced a new episode of his radio show talking about the issue of CTE, concussions, and combat sports. This is an important topic because what he brings up on the radio show (which I encourage you to listen to in full) is something that boxing & MMA will have to address in regards to head trauma. As more scientific research is done on the brains of deceased athletes, we are learning more and more about important issues that folks like Ivan Trembow & Dr. Margaret Goodman have addressed in the past. However, the media spotlight is growing on this matter because across sports like football & hockey, concussions are being scrutinized.

“The lessons of this really have to be considered by those in combat sports. Boxing isn’t going to consider anything, it’s a pretty amoral and corrupt culture and it’s willing to go to its death as a sport rather than change. I don’t see much of a different culture in MMA and since that’s been growing and more money has been coming into it, people haven’t been considering this. But wait until the effects of MMA, which has a more lot striking now than it used to, start to become public and wait until the issue of CTE and brain trauma starts to be considered by the Internet-savvy people around MMA. Hasn’t happened, yet, but I think it’s going to happen at some point in the near future.

“I think what’s likelier to happen rather than banning with these sports is that those that can change will try to change a little bit and they’ll lose viewership, they’ll lose sponsors, they’ll lose networks along the way and they’ll hope to hang on as smaller niche sports. We’ve seen a lot of sports decline: boxing, baseball, horse racing, and so forth. We’ve even seen the WWE decline to a certain extent where so many people have died in that, although the mainstream media refuses to honestly really look at how dangerous that type of acting really is.”

The truth is that most people who want to watch boxing & MMA currently are not clamoring about the issue of concussions in combat sports. Drug usage is also not considered an important topic because many fans assume that fighters, like football players, are going to use whatever they have to in order to deliver superhuman-type performances for fans paying their salary. I wish fans did care more about CTE, concussions, and drug usage (steroids, HGH, EPO, etc.) but I cannot turn a blind eye to the current fan atmosphere in combat sports.

Eddie argues that if promoters and power players in the respective combat sports don’t address the CTE issue soon, there may be significant damage to financial bottom lines & scope of their respective sports.

“What this could mean for MMA is that it’s elevator ride to the top may stop, may get stuck somewhere midway. Because the mainstream media gives MMA a pass to a certain degree but not when prominent people start turning out to be vegetables, when top athletes start showing the signs of CTE, of the dementia pugilistica that we see in boxing, and if and when and I think a lot of people believe it’s more of a when than an if, some prominent fighter dies live in a nationally or internationally televised Mixed Martial Arts card. Remember, it’s only a short period of time that MMA has gotten any legitimacy and that legitimacy is only in most of North America. It’s still illegal in New York, it’s still illegal in France, it’s not accepted in Germany, in Japan it’s been tainted of course by the yakuza scandals, and it is growing in many, many different countries but it’s far from being a part of the culture, it’s far from being entrenched in the economic and political institutions, it’s still has a rather tenuous existence including on television in the United States where major networks do not want to show Mixed Martial Arts events.

“So, what is this going to mean for the combat sports? Because people in the combat sports see the need to promote this warrior culture, promote these kind of macho events. There’s certainly a large fan base for it and if MMA’s growth starts to become stunted to one degree or another, where are people going to go? What’s going to potentially take its place? Now, there are a lot of different scenarios that you could come up with but one of those scenarios involves getting legitimacy from the Olympic games and also particularly in the MMA world, which again doesn’t seem to understand how things go on in the world in general particularly in the so-called MMA media, there’s not much understanding of how you would get MMA or some limited form of it because you’re not going to have full MMA in the Olympic games or grappling in the Olympics. And I think it’s important to look at the process of how sports get into the Olympics because there’s talk, well, you’re going to have the 2016 Olympics in Rio so let’s get Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in there and all this, there’s a lot of naiveté about how this goes on, about how this process works.”

Eddie went on to discussion how FILA is working on pushing for Pankration in the Olympics and what it will take for MMA & BJJ & other forms of grappling currently not in the Olympic games to break in politically with the IOC. The idea is that having a sport associated with the Olympics will bring enough legitimacy to establish a line of equity of credibility.

Will CTE & concussions become major health & business issues for Mixed Martial Arts in the future and, if so, how much damage will the sport take in the eyes of the public?

Source: Fight Opinion

Sherdog’s Guide to ‘The Ultimate Fighter’
by Scott Holmes

“I did something to my back,” complains Shamar Bailey to teammate Justin Edwards at the start of this week’s episode, shortly before Bailey’s upcoming opponent and resident snake-in-the-grass Chris Cope slinks by.

Once outside, Cope lets unleashes one of his now-traditional “Whooo!” screams, which have really gotten under Shamar’s skin in recent days. Bailey can’t wait to get in the ring and convince Chris to abandon his morning bellows.

UFC President Dana White surprises the fighters this morning by corralling them for an impromptu meeting with UFC fighter and former U.S. Marine Brian Stann. The “All-American” gives the contestants a little speech on how being a Marine has benefited him as a fighter. The talk stops short of a recruiting speech when Stann transitions into how high-level fighters have to be just as disciplined as the men in the military.

“Success breeds success,” says Stann, imploring the young men to “live your life at that level.” It’s like the UFC’s version of the “don’t be a jackass” and “surround yourself with the right people” talks that rookies get when they enter the NFL and NBA.

The first quarterfinal matchup is between Team Dos Santos standout Ramsey Nijem and Team Lesnar’s Clay Harvison. Coach Junior dos Santos works with Ramsey on a striking plan, and they talk about adjusting the range when fighting Harvison. Nijem speaks about being a Palestinian-American and his feelings on his current position, geographically speaking.

“I’ve been to Palestine and I’ve been through the stops. I’ve seen the guns and the walls,” says Ramsey, all too happy to be able to do his fighting in the cage.

Nijem’s opponent, Clay Harvison, is still suffering from a dislocated finger with a limited range of motion.

“Gotta make do with what you got,” shrugs Harvison, ready to fight just a week after his bone first poked out of his pinkie.

Coach Brock Lesnar is prepping Harvison for the eventuality that Ramsey will shoot in for a takedown. Lesnar draws on his experience fighting Shane Carwin and demos a Carwin maneuver as an example of how to cancel Nijem out. Whether it’s the editing or a change of heart for Lesnar, he’s started to appear more “coachey” in the past few weeks. It’s becoming less about Brock and more about what Brock can do to help. Winning might have had a little something to do with that, too.

Heading into the weigh-in, Dana gives a quick breakdown of Harvison.

"Clay’s a kid I have a lot of respect for,” says White, who has grown accustomed to calling just about anybody on his payroll under 40 a “kid.” It’s unclear whether they seem like young kids to him, or if it’s a keep-you-in-your-place thing. Maybe he just knows too many dang fighters, and “kid” is much easier than having to remember their names.

At the weigh-in, “Stripper” Ramsey lives up to his billing, pulling down his pants to reveal some very revealing briefs. Dos Santos buries his laughing, ruby-red face into his hands. Nijem squares off with Harvison and then feigns a slight turn of the head, as if going in for a kiss. Harvison pulls back before a Heath Herring-type situation can surface. Everyone loves Nijem, though, and they laugh it up. Even Brock sports a grin.

Just before the fight, Ramsey pukes to relieve some of his pre-fight jitters, while Harvison whacks away at the focus mitts, blocking out any pain in his injured finger.

“Just got to turn it on and hit the switch,” says Harvison. “When we’re done, we’ll be cool again. We won’t be making out, though.”

Harvison comes out swinging with big shots, but Nijem slips under his second set of strikes, shooting low for the takedown. Harvison turns, allowing Nijem to take his back, where Ramsey methodically lands a few set-up strikes to get his rear-naked choke. Harvison taps within the first minute.

“Junior dos Santos might be right,” says an impressed White. “This might be the kid to beat.”

Nijem celebrates while Harvison is dejected by his performance, despite some accolades from Dana on his toughness.

“I’d much rather get taken three rounds and just beaten to a bloody pulp than fall for a rear-naked choke,” says Harvison. “I’m pissed at myself.”

Next up are Bailey and Cope. White explains that the fighters think that Chris is the weakest guy, with Shamar being the toughest.

Dos Santos speaks on Shamar’s back injury, saying that it’s getting much better and won’t be a problem in his fight. The wrestler Bailey plans to keep Cope backing up and take him down at will.

“Even though he doesn’t like me much, I like him a lot. I think he’s a nice guy,” says Cope, who has drawn the ire of Shamar. Cope’s hearty war-yelps used to stir Shamar from slumber each morning; now that Bailey has put him on notice for it, Cope seems to do it every five minutes.

“I guess Chris has been staying too positive for him in the house,” laughs Lesnar.

“He’s like an action figure,” whispers Charlie Rader as the ripped Bailey steps onto the scale.

“I honestly think the toughest guy is Shamar,” Chuck O’Neil says, adding that “Chris is going to be the guy that outworks you and takes your heart away. And if you let that happen, Chris is going to beat you every time.”

White’s not fooled by the musculature of Bailey, and the UFC boss notes that he wasn’t impressed with Shamar’s first fight. Shamar plans on changing that impression; unfortunately for him, he gets nowhere with it in the cage. Cope’s length and upright stance has Bailey bent backwards and out of the camera’s frame, much less within punching distance.

Shamar rushes forward, swinging at where Cope used to be. Cope dances around until he’s pinned against the fence. This same sequence repeats for the duration of the fight. Shamar tries to knock or take down Cope, but Cope stays far away, stuffing shots and adding up points with ear punches and body blows whenever Bailey stalls.

Dana figures that Shamar hit the wall: once he realized Cope couldn’t be taken down easily, Bailey got frustrated and folded. After two rounds, the scores read 20-18 on all cards and Cope upsets the favored Bailey. Dos Santos and Bailey are both fully convinced that Shamar won since Cope was always running away, but Shamar never really mounted any offense. Shamar feels like Cope did nothing but hide, and is increasingly convinced that he really put on a show.

“I just want to let you know I took a risk,” Bailey says as he corners White in the hallway. “I could have took the easy way out and just took him down, but I just wanted to let you know I could do some other things too.”

Dana shakes his hand, but says, “It looks like you tried to take him down a bunch of times.”

“Well,” Shamar says, pausing. “Back.”

Bailey tells Dana how his injury played a major role in his inability to put Cope on the ground. Dana doesn’t press him further, but later he muses about Bailey’s situation.

“What’s funny is, Shamar came in and said he wants this fight so he can come in and kick Chris’ ass for waking him up every morning,” laughs White. “Hey, Shamar, I bet you’re going to get woken up now every day for the rest of the competition.”

Proving Dana’s point, Cope lets out one more of his war-whoops as he struts out the training center door.

Reader comments are active below. Chime in with an opinion or thought by signing in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Yahoo! account.

Source: Sherdog

Marcelo Garcia called up for ADCC 2011
by Ivan Trindade

As Monday came to an end, Marcelo Garcia posted a rare tweet from @marcelogarciajj.
“I was invited to ADCC 2011today. Really anxious to fight,” he said.

The way is now open for a possible fourth encounter between Marcelo and Pablo Popovitch in the under-77kg division.

The score stands at 2-1 in Garcia’s favor, but Popovitch is the current champion.

As the days go by, ADCC 2011 is filling out with the greatest virtuosos of the grappling arts.

Stay tuned to GRACIEMAG.com for all the ins and outs and breaking news regarding ADCC 2011, and in August the GRACIEMAG at the ADCC Blog will start up again.

Source: Gracie Magazine

‘Minotauro’ promises fight of the night at UFC Rio: “I’ll submit (Schaub)”
By Marcelo Barone

Officially confirmed to be in UFC Rio card, on an event scheduled for August 27th, at HSBC Arena, in Barra da Tijuca, Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira was one of the names the fans craved to see in action. Away from the octagon since February 2010, when he was beaten down by Cain Velasquez, the heavyweight has to speed things up to be at his bet on the event, where he’ll confront the American Brendan Schaub.

With his dream of fighting at home almost coming truth, the athlete promises not to let the fans down, and claims it should be crowded in there. On the chat with TATAME, Nogueira also talked about the possibility of trying to regain the division’s belt, promised to be among the bests of the event, revealed how he’s doing and betted on a knockout coming from Anderson Silva and Junior “Cigado” dos Santos, over Yushin Okami and Shane Carwin.

How was the feeling of being called in to be part of UFC Rio card?
We were waiting for the doctor to say I was good to go. I met him this week, I’ve asked the guys from UFC to wait a little longer (to tell that I’d be fighting in Rio), to check if I would have conditions to do actually do it. The doctor told me I’m ok, asked me to start training and he’ll be side by side with me until the bout, to check how I’m doing. I’m coming back after over a year without fighting, doing my trainings and regaining speed, but I’m feeling fine. I’m not 100% yet. The problem is my conditioning, because I’m completely healed from my injury.

What do you expect off this bout with Brendan Schaub?
I’ll do my homework and watch his bouts. He’s a good boxer, uses the distance, but I’m prepared to strike. I won’t keep trying to take him down all the time. I’ll try to do my best, no matter where things are. I’m not worried about him. I want to be at my best, in a good shape, because I believe in myself. I want to be focused in being in my best shape ever. He’s a tall and thin guy, knows how to deal with the distance, he’s a good wrestler, he punches hard, but I’ll really go for it.

Your greatest motivation is to be fighting in Rio de Janeiro?
Absolutely. I speed things up on my healing process because of this bout. I’ve focused on what I would need so that I could fight in Rio. I’ve never fought in Brazil. It’s a dream come true, fighting where I live, in my home. It’ll be nice, exciting. Representing Brazil will be cool.

Have you noticed any difference on your training, now with no pain coming from your injuries?
I’m more balanced and more explosive. I’m doing my physiotherapy sessions with Angela Cortes, who was pointed out by my doctor. She helped on Gustavo’s (tennis player) healing process and she’s really good. After the injury is completely healed, I’ll keep doing physiotherapy so that I get more stretched. We get hut every day. The truth is that a MMA fighter is always injured. We need to do some stretches here and there. I’m doing it three hours a day, from Monday to Saturday, and I’m faster, more at ease. I used to do it on Sundays too, but I’ve stop a couple of weeks ago. I was doing it like five hours a day.

Will your surgeries make it easier for you to use your Jiu-Jitsu on the guard?
I was fighting injured, I wasn’t doing good at all, I was slow, my leg was heavy, my hip was injured. I couldn’t really explode because I was slow, less agile, less flexible.

Where do you see yourself on this division currently?
I want to be on a good position again. I was last defeated by the champion (Cain Velasquez), who’s been beating everybody down. Many people try to let me down, saying that I’m not that Rodrigo I used to be anymore, but as the bouts go by, I’ll be among the tops again.

Do you believe you can fight for the title again?
If I have the chance, absolutely. But I won’t fight Dos Santos. Other than him, I’ll fight anyone.

Talking about the other bouts scheduled for UFC Rio, do you believe Okami has enough game to defeat Anderson?
He’s a tough guy, strategic, also left-handed, a good wrestler, he’s one of the best to confront Anderson. But he won’t keep it up to that something else that Anderson’s got. Okami will feel Anderson’s coups, because he always uses something you can’t imagine him doing, a surprise coup, one that makes the difference. I believe Okami will be knocked out.

Among the confirmed bouts, which one do you believe that will be the best of the night?
It’ll be mine. I’ll submit him. It’ll be a good bout. He (Schaub) is a warrior. It’ll be a pretty busy fight for the heavyweight division.

What do you hope to see happening in Junior Dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin?
I guess it’s easier for him (Dos Santos). (Brock) Lesnar would take him down. Carwin is strong and likes to strike. It’ll be another exciting bout, but he won’t handle the rhythm that Junior will impose, because he has bad conditioning. Junior is more talented and is also better on the ground too. I like this match up. The guy’s a tough opponent, a tough guy, but he had bad conditioning. I bet Junior will knock him out.

Source: Tatame

DREAM 5/29 Saitama Super Arena (2011 Bantamweight Japan GP series)
By Zach Arnold

Bantamweight tournament: Darren Uyenoyama vs. Atsushi Yamamoto
Bantamweight tournament: Yoshiro Maeda vs. Hideo Tokoro
Bantamweight tournament: Masakazu Imanari vs. Keisuke Fujiwara
Bantamweight tournament: Kenji Osawa vs. Takafumi Otsuka
Featherweights: Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Joachim Hansen
Featherweights: Lion Takeshi vs. Koichiro Matsumoto
Featherweights: Kaoru Uno vs. Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura
Lightweights: Katsunori Kikuno vs. Daisuke Nakamura
Lightweights: Shinya Aoki vs. Antonio McKee
Bantamweight tournament semi-final #1 (winner of fight #1 vs. fight #2)
Bantamweight tournament semi-final #2 (winner of fight #3 vs. fight #4)

Source: Fight Opinion

Noons-Masvidal Official for June Strikeforce in Dallas
by Mike Whitman

A rumored lightweight tilt between
K.J. Noons and Jorge Masvidal is now official, as Strikeforce confirmed the bout Wednesday morning.

Featuring the remaining pair of quarterfinals in the promotion’s 2011 heavyweight grand prix, Strikeforce “Overeem vs. Werdum” will be headlined by former Pride Fighting Championships rivals Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem. Former UFC champion Josh Barnett will lock horns with hard-hitting Brett Rogers in the co-main event.

Formerly the first and only EliteXC lightweight champion, Noons has won six of his last seven bouts. The 28-year-old made his Strikeforce debut in June, outpointing Connor Heun in a split decision. Noons followed that performance with a knockout win over Jorge Gurgel in August before taking on reigning welterweight king Nick Diaz in October. Though Noons stopped Diaz by causing a cut in their original 2007 contest, Diaz would come out the victor in the rematch, peppering the shorter Noons with crisp shots en route to a unanimous nod.

Masvidal (Pictured) has split his last four bouts. A competitor in Bellator’s inaugural lightweight tournament, the 26-year-old kicked off 2010 with a split decision defeat at the hands of Luis Palomino. However, “Gamebred” would rebound from the loss to take a split nod of his own over Naoyuki Kotani in April 2010. Masvidal then stepped up in weight to take on welterweight slugger Paul Daley, losing a unanimous decision to the Brit in September. Most recently, Masvidal cruised to a unanimous verdict over fellow prospect Billy Evangelista at Strikeforce “Feijao vs. Henderson” in March.

Source: Sherdog

TUF 14 and Bisping Fight Off the Table, Will Chael Sonnen Return to Fighting?
by Damon Martin

It was less than a year ago when Chael Sonnen was perched and literally minutes away from defeating Anderson Silva to become the UFC middleweight champion.

Sonnen lost the fight in the final moments as Silva submitted him via triangle choke, and now he may have lost the ultimate battle with the California State Athletic Commission. He has been indefinitely suspended by the sanctioning body.

Due to the suspension, Sonnen will be sidelined in regards to California at minimum until June 2012 when he can re-apply for a license in the state. Add to that the fact that most major athletic commissions, including Nevada, will likely uphold California’s ruling, and Sonnen could be effectively sidelined for at least a year.

Sonnen, during Wednesday’s hearing, basically echoed those same sentiments as he pleaded with the commission to see his side of things, and allow him to get back to work as a fighter.
“If I am not granted a license to fight, I will be effectively retired,” Sonnen said. “I don’t want to retire today.”

According to Sonnen’s testimony, he was in place, if the commission had approved him, to become a coach on the 14th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” opposite Michael Bisping, with the two facing off after the season with a shot at the middleweight title on the line.

Now, with this suspension firmly in place, Sonnen will not be coaching and may not be fighting for a long, long time.

While Bisping and Sonnen seem to be perfect rivals for reality TV, even the British born fighter expressed his displeasure in the commission’s ruling that saw the Oregonian get suspended and without a license to fight for the immediate future.

“Gutted for Chael Sonnen,” Bisping wrote on his Twitter page. “People make mistakes, he paid his dues and should be allowed to continue with his career. Real shame for the guy.

“I did wanna fight him, as it would have been awesome, and a No. 1 contender match-up, but my own personal wants aside, I do truly feel for the guy.”

Technically, Sonnen can still apply for a fight license in other states besides California and Nevada, but most commissions tend to honor the suspensions handed down by other licensing bodies.

As California State Athletic Commission Executive Director George Dodd said when speaking with MMAWeekly.com earlier this month, each state commission makes their own decisions, much like what happened with boxer Antonio Margarito after he was suspended in California, but still fought in a different state.

“It’s kind of like the (Antonio) Margarito hearing (in boxing), where we had him on an indefinite suspension. Each state can make a determination of what they want to do with him.”

Dodd went on to state that the Nevada State Athletic Commission will also honor whatever suspension they hand down in regards to Sonnen.

“Nevada and a lot of other states work together, and they honor each others’ suspensions,” Dodd stated. “They have chose to honor our suspension.”

MMAWeekly.com sent messages to Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer for comment to confirm their stance on Sonnen’s suspension, but no response was given by the time of publication.

Sonnen was actually set to appear before the Nevada Commission this month before California stepped in and re-suspended the fighter, forcing him to re-appear with that commission, which effectively canceled any hearing he had with Nevada.

Was this ultimately a witch hunt to make an example out of Chael Sonnen? That’s one question that remains to be answered, but whether it was or not, the suspension is in place.

Beyond the issues that Sonnen will now have for at least a year in states like California and Nevada, is what the UFC would be willing to do with him while under suspension. The promotion has free reign to use their athletes in other areas, even those like the United Kingdom where no athletic commission is present, they have typically always stood by any suspension handed down.

It’s not likely the UFC would have Sonnen fight in another state or even another country because of the suspension, but he is able to apply for a license in other states if they wish to try.

What it means for certain right now is that Sonnen will not be a coach on the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter” and will likely not be able to face Michael Bisping, much less face Anderson Silva in a rematch for the UFC middleweight title.

Sonnen has yet to make a statement following the meeting with the commission on Wednesday, but for now the fighter that has been called ‘the most interesting man in MMA’ will have to wait and see if he’ll be able to continue with his career.

Source: MMA Weekly

The elephant in the room no one is addressing in regards to Chael Sonnen
By Zach Arnold

Without testosterone shots, will he physically be anywhere near the same fighter as he previously was in the UFC before he got suspended by the California State Athletic Commission?

That simple question is often overlooked in all of the melodrama surrounding the hearings Mr. Sonnen has had with the California State Athletic Commission. We know about the back-and-forth in regards to his claim that he needs TRT for ’survival’. We know Keith Kizer disputes what Sonnen claims in regards to asking for TRT approval. In the grand scheme of things (as Josh Gross pointed out), the CSAC looks pretty bad for not doing their own investigative work as opposed to simply taking Chael Sonnen’s testimony at face value. Of course, we all know what happened once last December’s hearing took place. There was the mortgage fraud situation in Portland.

Cageside Seats: Does Chael Sonnen deserve your sympathy?

Whether Chael’s license in California is revoked or not, in the bigger picture he can still fight down the road. All this talk about heading into retirement is that — talk. It certainly provides an interesting test case in regards to UFC. If the promotion wants to book him on foreign soil or book him in a state with a commission that isn’t so strict, it can be done. Keith Kizer, who I have long criticized as a do-nothing athletic commissioner, has had no problems watching what has taken place in California because someone else is making a decision for him. He just sits back, waits, and reacts to whatever the fallout is from another jurisdiction. In the past, I discussed the idea of Keith Kizer getting into a PR Battle with UFC and just how untenable of a situation that is given that Zuffa is the whole MMA business on a major-league scale at this point in time.

Many will argue on Twitter, on FB, on web sites that Mr. Sonnen has ‘paid his dues’ and should return to action shortly. OK, if you believe that, then you believe it. Ultimately, the call on what Chael Sonnen’s fate is happens to be in the hands of Zuffa management. Most people are now at the stage of debate as to whether or not Chael Sonnen can make Zuffa enough money to justify all of the hassles he has put the organization through. Well, we will find out shortly what Zuffa thinks. If they want to push the envelope and push the issue, they will book him. Simple as that. If they do, then it means they’ve made the calculation that he can generate good revenue for them.

Sergio Hernandez: Justice is served, why Chael Sonnen’s suspension is a good thing
However, what if the company decides to wash their hands of him? Will it be in part because they don’t want to deal with the headache any more? Or will it be in part because they are afraid of what he will become as a fighter if he isn’t using testosterone? Without testosterone, would he still be a Middleweight? Would he balloon up in size or shrivel to a lighter weight class? What would his physical condition be as a fighter now that he’s on a short leash with major American athletic commissions?

Todd Martin: Chael Sonnen’s fighting future in doubt

My mailbox and media accounts were flooded with very angry Chael Sonnen supporters who think that what has happened to him is a travesty and that it’s become a witch hunt. Even Michael Bisping thinks that is the case. Of course he would, given that he and Sonnen would have been paired against each other on The Ultimate Fighter. In the end, perhaps Mr. Bisping should take this as a blessing in disguise given how bad the show has become on a lot of levels.

I do think it is amazing how much martyrdom there seems to be in the eyes of many MMA fans when it comes to Chael Sonnen. He has been lionized to an amazing degree after his performance against Anderson Silva. It’s as if many have forgotten that he lost that fight. He gave Anderson everything he could, but he did lose that fight. One unique phenomenon about Chael that I’ve noticed is how dichotomous the rationale is amongst his most ardent supporters, a mixture of humanization and dehumanization. Humanization in that he claims he suffers from hypogonadism, has had personal problems in regards to mortgage fraud, and should be able to earn a living.

Dehumanization in the sense that people should somehow not take what he has to say seriously because he’s an entertainer, MMA is as much show-business as it is a sport, a large amount of fighters are supposedly doping as well, so on and so forth.

You can have your own opinion on Chael Sonnen, love him or hate him. While everyone is caught up in the moment, the most important question to ask is whether or not the man will have a functioning career if he isn’t able to use testosterone like he previously was.

Source: Fight Opinion


HUAWA Grappling Tournament 2011
Grappling Series II
Mililani High School Gym, Mililani, Hawaii
May 28, 2011

Multiple Age & Weight Divisions
Children 6-11 years old free to grapple)
Novice (12-13 years old)
School boys/girls (14-15 years old)
Cadets (16-17 years old)
Juniors (18-19 years old)

Seniors (20 and older)

Entry Fee $25 online registration
$35 Walk-in registration ends 5/28/11 at 8:30AM

Must have a current 2011 USAW card
USAW card $35 at the door

Weigh-in Friday 6-7PM or Saturday 7:30-8:30AM

Competition starts at 10AM

Contact: John Robinson (808) 381-3048

A mixed martial arts exposition featuring companies and organization promoting their products and services, displays, entertainment, special appearances, games, giveaways, and contests.

* Mixed Martial Arts Events
* Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu & Submission Grappling Tournament
* Special Guests Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez, UFC Fighters Jake Shields, Chris Leben and Kendall Grove, and X1 World Middleweight Champion Falaniko Vitale
* Automobiles & Motorcycles
* Electronics & Gadgets
* Watersports
* Clothing Exhibitors
* Entertainment
* Interactive Participation

Dan Hardy Relocates to Las Vegas to Work with Roy Nelson, Still Plans to Train in the UK

Dan Hardy is making some big changes in preparation for his upcoming fight with Chris Lytle at UFC on Versus 5 in August.

Most notably the British born fighter is moving to Las Vegas to begin training with heavyweight contender Roy Nelson starting this week.

Hardy has had a residence in Los Angeles for a while now, as he’s been training with jiu-jitsu instructor Eddie Bravo over the years, but now he’s packing up to see how Las Vegas treats him.

“At the moment I have a place in Los Angeles and I’m moving to Las Vegas next week so I can start training with Mr. Big Country himself,” Hardy told MMAWeekly Radio.

He will pick up training with Nelson as the big man closes out his camp ahead of his fight with Frank Mir at UFC 130. Then he will head home to England for a few weeks to train with his teammates at Team Rough House.

Hardy and Nelson first met in 2010 at the UFC Fight Night 21 event that Nelson was competing at. They became fast friends and will soon become full-time training partners. Hardy believes working with Nelson will give him a big help with his ground game and wrestling in particular.

“We were passing through Charlotte, N.C., when Roy fought Stefan Struve, and he threw that big overhand right and knocked him out. I thought that was pretty awesome. Obviously, I watched the show as well, and we just got to chatting after the fights,” Hardy explained.

“Obviously, I have a gaping hole in my game and Roy’s a good black belt. He’s been so kind as to help me out.”

The new teammates have even coined the nickname “Hawk and Mullet,” which may even turn into a reality show one day.

All jokes aside however, Nelson plans on working with Hardy to help him improve in a few areas, and believes that their partnership will yield immediate results.

“I think you’re going to see a more refined Dan where he’s going to be confident in every strike that he throws, without worrying about getting taken down,” said Nelson. “And if he wants he can take somebody down.”

Source: MMA Weekly

Antonio McKee Out of Fight Against Shinya Aoki in Dream

And just like that, Shinya Aoki is without an opponent once again.

Less than two days after Dream announced that former UFC and MFC fighter Antonio McKee had signed to face Aoki at Dream 17, he’s out.

Andrew Simon of HDNet Fights first announced the change via Twitter, and McKee’s manager also confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Monday that his fighter would not be fighting in Japan.

According to sources, McKee was unable to secure a visa in time to travel and fight in Japan.

McKee was one in a long line of fighters that Dream had contacted to face Aoki on the May 29 fight card. Former WEC champion Jamie Varner, as well as former WEC fighter Willamy Frieire, had also been contacted to take the fight, but it now appears all three are off the table.

There’s been no word if Aoki will remain on the card or not, but Dream has been known to pull in opponents, literally, with just hours remaining before a fight.

Source: MMA Weekly

Romulo Barral ready for the BJJ Worlds: “My confidence is back”

Romulo Barral left Italy without the absolute title in BJJ Professional Cup, event that happened last weekend, but the golden medal proved to himself that he’s ready to shine on this year’s edition of World.

“When the guy has good techniques, he’s trained and confident, that’s dangerous. One thing I want to make clear is that my confidence is back, and I’ll be in World to give the guys headaches”, said Barral, believing that Roger Gracie’s absence on the main tournament of the year give other contenders bigger chances.

“If Roger is not on the championship, it’s 50% easier on the other athletes, because everybody knows Roger. Roger gets there, everybody thinks he’ll not be trained, since he’s only fighting one championship per year… Then he finishes everybody out. I hope he fight”, cheers.

Check below the complete interview with the world champion, who talked about his healing process of a knee injury, the messy situation between him and Bernardo Faria on the finale of the event, explaining that the position he fit leaded the fight to an end, commented about resting and the dream of getting an invitation to ADCC 2011.

You’ve earned the weight dispute but got tired on the absolute, including the finale, when Bernardo had fit a good position, but things were so messed up, and no one could have seen that coming. What indeed happened in there?

Actually, I guess me and Bernardo were not thinking straight. Both of us wanted to win. I fit a really tough position, I was trying to make a position work against Bernardo because of his good half-guard game. Bernardo said once or twice that I was twisting his knee and I got it as a verbal abandonment. I let the position go and he pushed me after that. I believe he should have been disqualified right there. But then we stop and think about it, we both were nervous… Bernardo is an excellent athlete, he’s to be congratulated, and let’s move on

World is coming, so I’ll show the World I’m not kidding here. I’ve been fighting many tough guys, getting back to track and using the experience I’ve got, that’s what I did on that bout, when I fit a coup that he wasn’t expecting, a position that many people who know Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t know. Unfortunately, the outcome was not like I hoped it to be, but that’s fine.

Both in Samurai Pro and BJJ Professional Cup you had great experiences. Did you get in good shape again for them?

Absolutely. I fought Samurai Pro last week. So, two championships in two weeks, and I also had to travel all the way here. I’m thrilled. I got pretty mad back there, but I want to apologize for my fans because I left… I lost my mind, I wasn’t thinking straight, but then you realize what you did… Bernardo is to be congratulates.

Is your knee 100% healed?

150% (laughs). Everybody’s asking me this, but thanks’ God what I need now is to regain my confidence. When the guy has good techniques, he’s trained and confident, that’s dangerous. One thing I want to make clear is that my confidence is back, and I’ll be in World to give the guys headaches.

For two years you’ve been confronting Roger Gracie on the World’s absolute’s finale, but he might not be there this year. Does his absence leave and open space, not just for you, but for athletes who were finished by him?

If Roger is not on the championship, it’s 50% easier on the other athletes, because everybody knows Roger. Roger gets there, everybody thinks he’ll not be trained, since he’s only fighting one championship per year… Then he finishes everybody out. I hope he fight. Roger’s a great athlete, you can enjoy seeing him fighting, and I still believe he’ll fight and put on a great show for the fans. God help me, but I want to fight him on the finale again.

You’ve said it now and you did it before… Do you think you’re getting old? Are you thinking about retiring?

No. I’m on these championships for a while. I’ve reached a point on which I’m considering other things. I’m thinking about my family, my gym… The championship is a part of the total, but it’s a short thing, get it? I’m thinking about something that lasts, maybe forever. I can fight for a while longer, but it won’t be like more five to ten years… I’ll probably fight few times more, and that’s it.

Right after your surgery you wanted to fight, and now you just been on like five or six championships. How will you live without fighting?

That’s what everybody’s been talking about. Everybody that I mention it don’t believe it, because I really like fighting, I like to be with these guys. But, there comes a moment on your life on which you have to think and decide. I can’t do both: to be a fighter forever and don’t think about my gym, a thing that I’m doing to guarantee a future for me. I believe that’s more like it. I know that Jiu-Jitsu getting more recognized and professionalized, there’re people putting much money on it, but this money comes and goes easily. It’s not a certain thing, get it? I say all these, but who know?

When World’s done and I chill out for a while… I’m not saying I’ll quit fighting forever, but, who know, maybe give it some time, focus in my gym… Then I’ll fight again, I can do MMA, Jiu-Jitsu… I’m still 28. I feel fine, I don’t feel any pain at all, I’m 100%, but I’m focused in World and my gym. I game all my best until World, I’ve trained a lot, I’m feeling fine, but I’m sure that after a while, I’ll have to take care of my gym. When the championships come we’ll know if I’ll be there or not.

And what about ADCC? Do you plan on fighting it?

ADCC would be in my plans. I’d take some extra time to train and fight in ADCC, but only if I get an invitation with the due time for me to get ready for it, because twice they’ve called me in at the last minute, I couldn’t prepare myself for it… If they invite me now, which I believe I deserve it… Last ADCC I was called in a day before the event happened and I fought on a different weight class. So I believe I deserve an invitation. If they invite me now, I’ll focus on no gi trainings, train it hard until September, and fight ADCC. It’s a dream… But it if happens like one or two months after World, I won’t be interested anymore. I want to go there only if I’m prepared.

Source: Tatame

Bernardo Faria celebrates titles in Italy and dreams with ADCC 2011

Current world champion of Jiu-Jitsu, Bernardo Faria put on a great show in Italy, but it didn’t all end up like the tough guys were expecting it to in BJJ Professional Cup, which happened last weekend.

After defeating Raphael Abi-Rihan on the super fight and beating down Lucio Lagarto on the finale of the weight division’s dispute, he dueled with Romulo Barral for the absolute golden medal. The victory came, but he “doesn’t feel like a champion”, once the win came after Barral quite the fight because of Bernardo’s complaints of a supposed illegal position. “It’s hard to explain what I’m feeling… It’s not that feeling like I’m absolute champion of Jiu-Jitsu”, regrets Bernardo.

On the exclusive interview, which you check below, Alliance’s athlete talked about his bouts, analyzed the position he used against Barral and his focus on World of Jiu-Jitsu, not accepting the favorite label. “There’re championships on which I think I’ll win and I don’t. There’re championships I don’t believe I’ll win and I go there and do so… So it’s train and pray for me to be on a good day and win”, said.

What are your thoughts about your performance on the championship, winning the super fight and your weight class title?

I did just fine on the super fight. I did a good fight against (Raphael) Abi-Rihan, who’s an excellent athlete, has a great level. Thanks’ God I did a good fight. On my weight division, I fought (Lucio) Lagarto, and I defeated him (2x), and then got a vacancy on the finals beating down Chico, who I also submitted. On the absolute dispute, I submitted my two first opponents and I fought Lagarto again, and I beat him up (6x2), or something like that.

But on the absolute dispute things didn’t go like you wanted, right?

It’s true. On the absolut’s finale unfortunately that happened and you all saw itand I got pretty upset. It’s hard to explain what I’m feeling, it’s like I wasn’t really the absolute champion. Romulo is a guy who I admire a lot. I remember that when I left Juiz de Fora, I didn’t have anywhere to go and he called me in to live with him, at his house, and I won’t ever forget it. But unfortunately, on the mats, you gotta put away the friendships, you try to forget everything.

He’s one of the guys I most admire in Jiu-Jitsu… I believe everybody knows that, even him. If I did anything wrong, I’ve apologized for it. I always try to stick to the rules and I believe I didn’t do anything wrong. But I was happy to be the weight and absolute champion, and for winning the super fight… I wasn’t really the champion on the absolute, right? (laughs). On the absolute I got to the finals… I don’t know if I was the champion or not.

How was the position?

He fit a leg-lock and it was right on the side of my knee, I complained with the judge, but at any point I said ‘ouch’. I could have gotten a warning or a punishment for my complaint, because the fighter’s supposed to fight, not to talk, but other than that, there was no reason why I should be disqualified. Things got weird… There’s not much to be said about it.

But the party wasn’t complete as you were expecting it to be, right?

Yeah… But I’m satisfied because I did good fights, but I don’t know about it, man.

Will you focus on World now?


And about this big pot, will you invest in your career?

It’s my career (laughs). That’s what I live for, I need to have some income. The day I stop fighting, I’ll think about investing in something else (laughs).

As a current champion, you’ll be the one to be defeated. How is like fighting like that?

Man, I don’t worry about it. There’re championships on which I think I’ll win and I don’t. There’re championships I don’t believe I’ll win and I go there and do so… So it’s train and pray for me to be on a good day and win.

And what about ADCC 2011?

It’s my biggest dream to fight at ADCC, and we don’t have anyone from Alliance team at the -99kg category yet. I’d love to be invited to fight there.

Source: Tatame

Frankie Edgar Discusses Injury That Forced Him Out of UFC 130

UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar has begun treatment for a back injury with what could be a series of shots to address the problem. On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Edgar said that the injury that forced him out of his scheduled UFC 130 title defense against Gray Maynard was due to an extreme flare-up of an existing problem.

Earlier Monday, he had an epidural injection to address the pain. It will take up to four days to determine whether it worked. According to Edgar, the ultimate solution is something more invasive, but his doctors are trying to stem the pain and delay what might be inevitable.

"I think eventually I'm going to need surgery," said Edgar, who also suffered a rib injury in training. "Hopefully these shots will slow down the process and give me a couple more years without having to do the surgery."

The shots may prove an effective temporary solution, but if they don't work, he could have another round of shots that will go directly into his nerves.

Edgar said his back issues go back to his past, and that he had surgery 11 years ago. Since then, he occasionally suffered small flare-ups that would knock him out of the gym for a day or two, but about 3-4 weeks ago, he was hit with another flare-up that he quickly realized was far more severe.

He was in such pain that he could barely walk around.

It soon became clear that he would not be able to fight, a disappointment after going through a big portion of his camp.

"It was one of the hardest things to do," he said of his decision to withdraw. "Not only do I not want to let down my bosses, Dana [White], Lorenzo [Fertitta] and those guys. I don't want to let down my teammates. To be honest though, i was having a pretty good camp other than the injuries. i thought I was performing well in practice."

For now, Edgar is in a holding pattern as he waits to see how his body responds to shots. Even if they work, he will likely take off a week to 10 days before beginning light training. Asked how long he might be out, Edgar said he may not be back until the fall, with late summer or longer possibility.

"Just the rest alone made me feel a little better," he said. "I think these shots will help me train at the capacity I need to train."

Source: MMA Fighting


Former UFC champ Evans still doubts Jones but turning attention to Davis

Something is not adding up for Rashad Evans.

UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones (13-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) is fired up to fight him. He knows that because Jones pulled him aside on Wednesday at a Las Vegas nightclub and made it very clear.

But with the recent news that Jones passed on a surgery that derailed their fight, Evans (15-1-1 MMA, 10-1-1 UFC) believes the champ's actions don't mirror his words.

In fact, he thinks the hand injury that benched Jones is a bluff.

"Jon doesn't need surgery," Evans today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "He did not need the surgery. No doctor will operate on him. They say he doesn't need it."

Evans and Jones were supposed to meet at UFC 133 before Jones withdrew citing an old wrestling injury that resurfaced in his title-winning fight against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at March's UFC 128 event – a date that was originally reserved for Evans before he injured his knee in training.

Evans is now scheduled to meet the rapidly rising Phil Davis at the late-summer pay-per-view card, which takes place Aug. 6 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. A date for Jones' return is unknown, but he is expected to fight by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the former training partners fight over Twitter in lieu of a real scrap.

According to recent reports, the two nearly came to blows at the Las Vegas nightclub. Evans said it never got that far, but the two did have an intense conversation in private.

"He pulled me over, and he's like, 'I just want to tell you right now – I'm going to destroy you,'" Evans recalled. "'You're going to be my first knockout highlight.'

"I'm looking at him in disbelief like, is this dude serious? So I was like, 'Ok, you are. Then why didn't you take the fight?'"

Jones' manager Malki Kawa today told MMAjunkie.com that the champion was set to undergo surgery on Thursday in Nevada before a pre-operation examination by a specialist raised doubts about the necessity of the procedure. Although the only way to fix the injury – a torn ligament in his right hand – is through surgery, Jones elected not to go under the knife.

"It's almost like you have a dent on a car, and in order to fix it, you replace the entire door. The door works, so why tear it apart to fix the issue? Jon's injury is serious. It will not repair itself. But he's willing to fight through the pain for now, and if it ever comes to the point where his hand simply doesn't work anymore, that's when he'll go for the surgery."

Evans, however, thinks the whole episode served another purpose.

"It's obvious he doesn't want to fight," he said. "Because if you don't need surgery and you're not going to have it, then why tell the UFC that you're going to have surgery and not have it?

"So pretty much what it comes down to is this guy faked a surgery. He's not fighting me. But he's so confident. He's saying he's going to destroy me and he's Jon Jones the great, but yet he doesn't even need surgery – or he's not going to have it."

Kawa has denied any ulterior motive was at hand in the recent developments and said the Jones camp has made decisions based on the information available at the time. Although several doctors initially suggested surgery, he said the specialist's recommendation was ultimately heeded because of his stature in the industry. Jones has been fitted with a removable cast and asked not to train until June 11.

Kawa said he's informed the promotion of Jones' recent developments. UFC president Dana White dismissed the idea that the champ is faking the injury, as Evans today suggested on Twitter.

"Nobody lies about injuries," White said. "We fly them to Las Vegas to see our doctor."

But Evans wonders aloud why the injury that Jones carried throughout his UFC career has suddenly kept him from fighting. While he's not about to suggest the promotion make the fight with the new information, he won't be silent about his feelings.

"I'm the kind of person that if there's going to be a story out, and it's going to say something happened, then I'm going to tell the truth about the whole situation," he said. "I'm not going to lie about it to make myself look better. I'm going to say what happened, and that's what happened.

"But the truth of the matter is there's nothing wrong with his thumb."

Evans said he's already begun preparations for his fight with Davis and needs a good performance to put him in line for a shot at Jones' belt.

The current feud is merely a distraction.

"I even hate the fact that I've got to talk about Jon Jones because I've got a great fighter in front of me," he said. "I'm coming back from injury and I need to go out there and have a good fight. So that's my main focus."

Source: Yahoo Sports

Wish Granted: ‘Hybrid’ Faces Nogueira at UFC 134

It’s official: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will face Brendan Schaub at UFC 134.

Since March, UFC up-and-comer Brendan Schaub has campaigned for a fight with heavyweight legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Today, he got it.

The UFC confirmed Monday that Schaub and Nogueira will square off at UFC 134 “Rio” on Aug. 27. Set to take place at HSBC Arena in Nogueira’s home base of Rio de Janeiro, the pay-per-view event will be headlined by a middleweight title bout between champion Anderson Silva and challenger Yushin Okami.

Lex McMahon, Schaub’s manager, told ESPN.com on Sunday that the Coloradan’s side had been “lobbying daily for the fight” against Nogueira.

Schaub, 28, holds a record of 8-1 is viewed as one of the UFC’s top heavyweight prospects. The Grudge Training Center representative entered the Octagon by way of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show; Schaub reached the 10th-season finals, where he was dealt the first defeat of his career in the form of a Roy Nelson knockout.

Since that December 2009 loss, Schaub has reeled off four straight wins, including three via knockout. The “Hybrid” took a unanimous decision over former title contender Gabriel Gonzaga in October, and most recently served up a knockout of former Pride Fighting Championships star Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic at UFC 128 on March 19.

Another heavyweight from the fabled Pride ring, Nogueira, 34, possesses a career mark of 32-6-1 (one no-contest). The former UFC interim titleholder has not competed since his February 2010 knockout loss to current heavyweight ruler Cain Velasquez and has since undergone both knee and dual hip surgery.

Since entering the UFC in July 2007, “Minotauro” has posted a 3-2 record, suffering the first stoppage losses of his career to Velasquez and Frank Mir, while topping Randy Couture, Tim Sylvia and Heath Herring. The Brazilian’s lengthy ledger is bolstered by wins over “Cro Cop,” Josh Barnett and Fabricio Werdum.

Source: Sherdog

After fight in Vegas, Mitrione says he’ll take on Tito

So what REALLY went on in this fight with Matt Mitrione and Tito Ortiz in Las Vegas? Well according to Mitrione, he merely went up to introduce himself to Ortiz, when Ortiz began to push him. This is when the altercation between the two began.

Ortiz was apparently upset about some things Mitrione had said before about Ortiz’s wife Jenna Jameson. Mitrione said he thinks that Ortiz felt that he had to stand up for his wife and respects him for that.

BUT…Mitrione also says he’d be willing to cut weight and take Ortiz on at a catch weight fight to prove who’s the manliest of the manly men of course.

Source: MMA Weekly

Jon Jones not having surgery, fighting soon but not Rashad

Jon Jones not having surgery, fighting soon but not Rashad.

Jon Jones recently dropped from his fight against former training partner Rashad Evans, citing a hand injury that he believed required surgery. According to friend and manager Malki Kawa, the UFC’s doctor’s suggested that the surgery was to evasive for his hand injury.

Via Twitter: @MalkiKawa

“I guess its time to put out the truth. @Jonnybones suffered a tear in his thumb in 2 different spots… Every dr he saw said to have surgery … We went to meet with the surgeon on wed and after he looked at @Jonnybones he thought that surgery was a bit invasive and bones didn’t have … to have if he didn’t want to. @Jonnybones decided against surgery and we immediately met with dana and lorenzo the next day to get his next fight scheduled … For the record, every doctor @Jonnybones saw was a @UFC referred doctor. The very last one on the day before surgery thought against it … No @Jonnybones is not fighting rashad. Rashad is fighting phil davis. I’ll let you know who or when jon will fight real soon … (he’ll fight again) by the end of the year. … And just so we’re clear, @Jonnybones is not medically cleared to fight until June 11, But hey, I guess that’s all a lie, huh?”

With surgery out the window Jones will be looking for a new challenger to his 205 lb. belt and as Kawa says it will not be Evans since he is already fighting Phil Davis at UFC 133. Evan’s responds to the news with belief that Jones faked the operation to get out of their originally scheduled belt.

Via Twitter @SugaRashadEvans

“Question: if u r or were so confident then y fake a thumb injury? Cuz just between me & y’all he don’t need surgery! … but I ain’t one 2 gossip so u didnt hear it from me! (ala Living Color) 4 u young folk! Lol … If I’m lying, I’m dying! Ask @jonnybones when is his surgery & who was his dr! He so fake he fake surgeries!! Now that’s fake!”

If not Evans or Davis to challenge for the title soon, who else is free and deserving to fight the champ in the interim? Other top light heavyweights Rampage and Hamill will fight at the upcoming UFC 130 which could possibly be a contender match. Other than that there is Forrest vs Shogun at UFC Rio, but that is not until Aug. Any suggestions?

Source: Caged Fighter

GSP says eye 100% healed, back to training

GSP says eye 100% healed, back to training. The (22-2) UFC welterweight champ Georges “Rush” St-Pierre has tweeted that the eye injury suffered at UFC 129 by opponent Jake Shields has now fully healed, and ready to start his new camp.

Rumor’s of a likely match-up with another champ coming to fruition are almost inevitable at this point as St-Pierre has cleared his division. With Strikeforce champ Nick Diaz left feeling ‘unchallenged’, the brawler has threatened to leave the sport for boxing unless he is given St-Pierre. The battle is likely to be announced if Zuffa is able to work out the details with Strikeforce partner Showtime as Diaz is still under contract, but allotted boxing fights in contract

Source: Caged Fighter

Kenny Florian Wants Jose Aldo Fight, but Not Done at Lightweight

Kenny Florian has heard all the comments from the peanut gallery since he made the decision to try his hand at featherweight.

Some fighters regard the move as a good career choice, while others have slammed almost anyone for cutting down a weight class as a desperate move for career rejuvenation.

Florian doesn’t really see it as either.

The Boston area fighter isn’t dropping down to 145 pounds because he couldn’t compete with the big boys at lightweight any longer. That’s the furthest thing from his mind.

“As far as I’m concerned, I know I’ve done well at 55 and I know I can be a champion at 155,” Florian told MMAWeekly Radio.

What got Florian thinking about going to featherweight in the first place was getting offered a fight with 145-pound champ Jose Aldo in a lightweight bout. Aldo eventually opted to stay at 145 pounds and forgo moving to lightweight, but the fight always stuck in Florian’s mind.

“It all started when I was offered a fight with Jose Aldo at 155 pounds, and when that opportunity arose, I just started thinking Jose won’t go up to 155, could I be able to make it at 145?” Florian stated. “Anyone can make 45, but the question of getting there and being able to perform well (was there) and (my coaches) felt that I would be able to do that.

“It was also a factor at 55. A lot of the guys that I wanted to fight, didn’t want to fight, and didn’t want to take the fight. I’m at the point in my career where I wanted to face the best, and when that wasn’t happening, I said let’s try 45.”

With the featherweight division growing with new talent and challenges ahead from fighters like Aldo and top contender Chad Mendes, Florian is excited for the prospects of facing the best of the best at 145 pounds.

It’s just the challenge he was looking for.

“For me, going down to 145, I see it as a new challenge in my career,” said Florian. “I see it as an opportunity to face one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world in Jose Aldo, hopefully, down the line. That’s really what I see it as. Going down to 45 as a new challenge, and I expect to be at 155 (again) soon.”

Florian is hopeful to defeat Diego Nunes at UFC 131 in June, and then be offered a fight with Jose Aldo later this year.

Either way, Florian’s time at lightweight is far from finished.

“No, not at all,” Florian answered when asked if he was done at 155 pounds.

For now, however, Florian will continue his strict diet and training regimen to make the cut to 145 pounds for the first time when he heads to Vancouver to be a part of the UFC 131 fight card.

Source: Yahoo Sports


An In Depth Look at the UFC Fighter Summit

The changing landscape of the MMA industry continues to evolve. With that the UFC and Zuffa look to lead the way in innovating thinking with the athletes who compete in the sport.

For the past few years, Zuffa has flown almost every fighter under contract out to Las Vegas for what has been dubbed the “UFC Fighter Summit,” where the athletes meet with bosses like UFC president Dana White and owner Lorenzo Fertitta, as well as a litany of other speakers, and are presented with a bevy of information on numerous subjects.

Somewhat similar to the rookie meetings held in the NFL, the officials at the UFC are trying to educate the fighters on different mediums that can help make their careers more successful and longer.

Subject matter at the UFC Fighter Summit ranged from the newly introduced fighter accident insurance to social networking skills to doctors giving seminars on weight cutting and concussions, all the way to keynote speeches from the men in charge.

For some fighters like UFC lightweight Yves Edwards, who has been competing professionally in the sport since 1997, the UFC Fighter Summit was like something he had never seen before. It was definitely not something he saw coming when he first fought for the promotion in 2001.

“It was pretty good, it was continuing education,” Edwards said when describing the meeting. “I think it was good to hear some of the things that was talked about and some of the things they touched on was pretty important.”

Welterweight fighter Charlie Brenneman found out about the Fighter Summit in an email from the UFC, and without knowing much about it, because he was in the middle of a training camp, he asked his coach and manager Mike Constantino if he could get out of going.

His manager immediately answered not a chance.

Once his two-day trip was over, Brenneman walked away with an entirely new perspective on the business plan that White, Fertitta, and the others in charge at the UFC had in store for the company’s future.

“They’re on top of everything. I equate them to Facebook,” Brenneman said. “Mark Zuckerberg’s not your traditional businessman. He has initiative. He does things differently. He’s not the standard business guy. Dana and the UFC are the same way.”


One of the biggest pieces of information relayed to the fighters attending the UFC Fighter Summit was that at as of June 1, they will all be covered under the new accidental insurance policy. Fighters who previously had to go without medical treatment or pay out of their own pocket for things like training injuries, would now be covered with the Zuffa paying for the premiums.

The change was a revolutionary idea in combat sports, something that’s never been done before by any major organization or sanctioning body.

Almost all fighters have been banged up during a training camp and a lot of them avoid the doctor simply because the cost of treatment is too high. Without full-time medical insurance, a routine doctor’s visit coupled with x-rays or treatment start running into the thousands of dollars, and that’s something the average fighter can’t afford.

Brenneman had to take a step back when first hearing about the fighter insurance, because he had to remember that the way he leads his life or has led his life is different than so many other fighters. This insurance could simply be seen as a lifeline.

“You assume in my dealings with fighting and my career, you meet so many new people, you just kind of assume that everyone’s the same as you. That everyone went to college, and everyone has a savings account, but really that’s not the reality of it,” explained Brenneman. “So many of these guys are completely on a whim and they don’t have any backing in terms of health, so for those guys it’s unbelievable. It’s like an answered prayer.”

For fighters like UFC middleweight Tim Boetsch, a program like accident insurance goes beyond just getting injured and having to drop out of a fight. It’s also just going through the rigors of everyday training, suffering a minor setback, and being able to make a trip to the doctor just to get checked out.

“Guys can take care of injuries as soon as they happen rather than putting them off till they can save up enough coin to take care of them, so it’s going to do good things for the sport,” Boetsch said.

“It’s only going to make performances better. Like I said, guys that get injuries can go get them fixed and get back on track and get in there and fight. It’s a great thing.”

Yves Edwards takes an even different approach when looking at the new UFC fighter insurance. He sees it as a major company looking out in a major way for their employees, something he doesn’t believe happens that often in the United States when you’re talking about a billion dollar type industry.

“They’re looking out for us to a degree and you have to appreciate that. Ultimately, it is a business, so for me I completely understand that, it’s capitalism. The first thing is for them to make money, but you see all these companies that are shipping jobs overseas and shutting down so their CEOs and their millionaires can make more money,” Edwards stated.

“When you live in a country where the rest of the world the CEOs to the drones are making like 13 to 1, 14 to 1, 20 to 1, and we are living in a country where the CEOs to the drones are making 475 to 1. It’s good that somebody actually cares about and wants to take care of the guys who are bleeding for their company.”


Just about everyone from ages 18 to 34 these days has a Twitter or Facebook account, and the numbers are only continuing to grow. Those age groups also happen to be the main demographics that follow the UFC and the sport of MMA, so for that purpose alone, social networking has been embraced by Zuffa and its athletes.

At the UFC Fighter Summit, the fighters learned that not only are they encouraged to utilize their Twitter and Facebook accounts, but they would even be paid for their time.

With bonuses totaling $240,000 a year (divvied up amongst the top performers), the UFC will dole out money for fighters who add followers and are deemed great at social networking. It’s really a revolutionary step for a major sports brand to reward athletes instead of penalizing them for embracing the social network.

“What I see the UFC doing is kind of aligning themselves with Twitter, which is an ingenious idea because Twitter is the next big thing. They were saying at one point the UFC had eight of the top trends (on Twitter). When you can implant yourself like that on pop culture it can only mean good things,” Charlie Brenneman commented.

“It’s the simplest way to get yourself out there and it costs nothing.”

For some other sports, Twitter and Facebook actually cost the athletes money. The NFL has cracked down on several players for using Twitter in and around games, most notoriously Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who has been nailed with a few fines, including a $25,000 hit, for tweeting during a game.

The NFL even has policies in place that will fine players for tweeting within 30 minutes of game time.

NBA guard Brandon Jennings has also felt the sting of the league’s crackdown on social networking. The Milwaukee Bucks player was fined $7,500 just for tweeting after a game.

The UFC and Zuffa have made social networking part of their marketing approach. UFC president Dana White boasts over a million followers on his Twitter page and routinely gives away tickets and prizes to fans that follow him.

Digital Royalty head Amy Jo Martin was brought in to teach the Zuffa fighters ways to increase their presence online. When the week was over, her presentations seemed to be the biggest hit among nearly everyone in attendance.

“I’m an Internet nerd. I spend a lot of time on YouTube and I do like to tweet and Facebook and things, so some of the Facebook and Twitter information was really good because I had no idea some of that stuff was going on,” Edwards commented. “It was kind of like a Facebook tutorial and Twitter tutorial. It kind of opened my eyes to a few new things, and a few things I can do on Twitter to make it more fun for me and the people that follow me.”

Brenneman is a fighter who has already embraced the social networking side of promoting himself and his career. He got on Twitter right away when he started fighting, and created a personal website as well.

The tasks and the time it takes as Brenneman says are taxing, but hearing Martin speak about the future of social networking and what it can do for his career, made him believe it was all going to pay off.

“It made that feel worth it,” Brenneman said. “That stuff’s not easy to do. It’s time consuming, it takes energy, but it just really made me feel like alright I’m on the right path and this is great.”

Even for a novice like Tim Boetsch, who admits that he forgets what his Twitter handle even is sometimes, he learned the benefits about social networking and plans on working to implement some of the things he took away from the Fighter Summit to help him build his career further than just fighting in the UFC.

“I picked up on quite a few things,” Boetsch said. “I definitely learned I’m pretty much a complete idiot when it comes to using Twitter and those sorts of things, so I definitely need to get better at that. But I’m trying and hopefully can have more of a presence on there than I have in the past.”


The fighters all took away something different and unique when the UFC Fighter Summit was all said and done. Some of them learned how to use Twitter, while others were extremely excited about the insurance.

Despite nearly 15 years of service in the sport, Edwards still enjoys learning new things and says there were a lot of eye opening subjects covered during the two-day event.

“Things that I enjoyed the most or I felt like I got the most from was listening to the doctors talk about weight cutting, and lacerations, cuts, injuries and whatnot, different things to focus on and different things to worry about. Also, the information about the insurance was a big deal and it was good to get clarification on what that was all about,” Edwards commented.

Of course with a roomful of fighters there were bound to be a few non-Summit related occurrences happening as well. As Roy Nelson videotaped and documented, a heated exchange happened between former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and heavyweight Matt Mitrione due to comments Mitrione had made about Ortiz and his girlfriend Jenna Jameson recently.

Overall, Brenneman was impressed with the level of professionalism shown by the fighters, even when they were sitting just a few feet away from the guy or girl they were getting ready to fight mere weeks from then.

“I was actually interested in that, but to be honest I didn’t really see any guys that had this ongoing beef. (Anthony) Rumble Johnson said it in a interview recently, and they were talking about how he and John Howard were at odds, and he just said, whatever, we have a beef, but if we go somewhere and we see each other, we’re professionals and that’s where it ends,” said Brenneman.

UFC welterweights Josh Koscheck and Dan Hardy took to heart the teachings about social networking. While they were literally just seats away from each other, decided to talk a little trash via Twitter instead of letting it boil over in the room.

Other athletes decided to bring a little levity to the classroom setting. New UFC middleweight Jason “Mayhem” Miller was dubbed the class clown, cracking more than just a few jokes that kept the room laughing, while UFC heavyweight Pat Barry opted for a different comedic delivery.

While a seminar was going on, Nick Catone, Charlie Brenneman, and Matt Wiman sat in a row listening to the information being given out. In the midst of this, Barry somehow had the time to strip down all of his clothes and decided that sitting in class only in his underwear was the best way to take in the knowledge.

“I was literally sitting six feet away from him and talking to Matt Wiman and Nick (Catone) tapped me on the shoulder and goes ‘look at that.’ It was already done, he was just sitting there in his underwear,” Brenneman said with a laugh.


The UFC Fighter Summit ended up lasting the better part of four days with fighters from both the UFC and Strikeforce attending the seminar.

As each person left the building and headed to the airport, it seemed to give them a renewed energy about ways they can be successful in the sport of MMA. For every Georges St-Pierre, there are 20 undercard fighters who are striving to be him, and the UFC Fighter Summit gave them a lot of tools to continue to build their brand to get there.

Whether it was educational seminars like doctors discussing concussions or social networking classes that taught fighters how to use Twitter, everybody took something away from the summit.

Brenneman may have said it best after he flew back home to New Jersey, “If I keep winning, life’s going to get really, really good. That’s probably the biggest thing that I took from it.”

Source: MMA Weekly

Shinya Aoki vs. Antonio McKee Finally Signed for Dream ‘Fight for Japan’

The revolving door of opponents for Shinya Aoki for the upcoming Dream ‘Fight for Japan’ show has finally stopped swinging. Antonio McKee is the fighter who will step up to the challenge.

Dream officials confirmed the bout on Sunday.

MMAWeekly.com first reported McKee’s possible involvement for the fight a couple of weeks back, but because he still had to wait for a visa, Dream continued to look for other possible opponents.

Among them was former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner, but in the end the Japanese promotion opted to go with McKee once he secured his visa. Former UFC fighter Willamy Freire was also in the running, but he could not secure a visa in time and he was pulled from the fight as well.

McKee hasn’t appeared since his lone fight in the UFC in which he came up short losing a split decision to Jacob Volkmann. Following the loss, McKee was unceremoniously released from the promotion, and will now take a shot at Aoki to get back on track.

The bout will take place at the Dream ‘Fight for Japan’ show, which will also kick off the Dream Japan Bantamweight Grand Prix. Several other bouts will be featured as well.

Source: MMA Weekly

UFC Gym and BJ Penn Partner for Hawaiian Facility; More Gym-Fighter Partnerships Expected

CORONA, Calif. – The UFC on Saturday, during the UFC Gym grand opening in Corona, announced plans to further expand its brand and partner with B.J. Penn to open another gym in Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Plans are in the preliminary stages for the gym’s opening, but early indications show that the gym will be available to the Waikiki community some time in early to mid 2012.

“Now, it’s going to be the B.J. Penn-UFC Gym. I’m very excited,” Penn said while attending the Corona UFC Gym grand opening. “I got my name on a building in Waikiki. I’m happy.”

With Penn’s name attached to this new gym, one can only wonder if more fighters will follow his lead and partner up with the UFC and its gym brand around the country.

UFC vice president of community relations Reed Harris confirmed that Penn is only the beginning. In the coming years, the UFC and its gym brand plan to partner with other marquee fighters to open more gyms in several communities.

“Today, they announced the UFC Gym in Hawaii,” Harris told MMAWeekly.com. “And it’s going to be a partnership between the UFC, the gym people, and also B.J. Penn. I think that’s also something we’re going to be seeing more of is the UFC partnering with signature fighters in their areas or the cities where they’re from or training in. This is really about the brand and what it’s going to be doing. The UFC brand, in the next few years, we’re going to see this brand grow internationally. Even with the gyms, et cetera, we’re going to see product everywhere.”

Penn, in speaking with MMAWeekly.com, also confirmed there will be several programs geared towards children at the Penn/UFC gym in Hawaii. The goal of being a positive force in the community looks to be one of the main focuses for Penn and the UFC Gym brand.

“What makes me very proud to be a part of this thing is that the company involved in putting the UFC Gym on (is) very community (oriented),” Penn said. “That’s a big thing for me when I get involved with something in Hawaii.”

The UFC Gym is known for making its efforts in reaching out to their local community. The gym located in Rosemead, Calif., last year implemented a program where over 300 children in the surrounding community participated in MMA-style training, fitness conditioning, and teamwork activities. The program was designed to help children build confidence and character through field trips, assemblies, and free passes to the gym. The UFC Gym’s program offered a unique way for youth to better their physical and mental health not seen in your typical community outreach program.

Source: MMA Weekly

How a loss changed Kron Gracie’s career

Kron Gracie was one of the highlight of BJJ Professional Cup, a tournament that happened last weekend in Italy and gave 60 thousand Euros in rewards. After submitting Yan Cabral on the matched bout, Rickson Gracie’s son conquered the absolute title as he submitted Gilbert Durinho, and that’s only to start with.

On an exclusive interview with TATAME directly from Italy, Kron talked about his participation on the tournament and his evolution in Jiu-Jitsu, shinning again like he used to on the other belt graduations. “After I was destroyed by Sergio Moraes (on his first World as a black belt), it took a long time for me to absorb it and to be cool about it. Now I'm feeling in my heart again that fell of wanting to be a champion, the need to train more and more to become better”, said the ‘mature’ Gracie. “I’ve turned into a man meanwhile… I was just a boy before”.

Check below the exclusive interview with the tough guy, who talked about the feeling of spending a week with his dad, the gym he’s opening in California, the possibility of fighting World 2011 among the light weights and a lot more.

You won the super fight, beat up Yan Cabral again by submission, and also earned the weight division title over Gibert Durinho, a tough guy. How do you see yourself now?

It was good. I came here focused. I was going to go for the absolute title too, but what happened was that the guys would fight the absolute before I would fight the finale, and I always want to be done with one thing before starting another. I came him, I travelled a lot, I wasted my time… I came all the way to Italy and I wanted to guarantee a win against Yan and on my weight division.

How was it to fight Durinho on the finale? He started scoring 2x0, but it seems he didn’t really believe in that position…

He’s not called by Durinho for no reason: he’s really tough. It was a tough bout, but it the end I got a position. I don’t know what happened, but it just fit. I don’t know if it was that he was too tired to escape from it, but I applied the position and he tapped out.

You’ve won Abu Dhabi’s qualifiers, but you didn’t go there to fight. What happened?

What happened was that I had 30 days to open my new gym and there was anything done yet, and if I went to Abu Dhabi, I wouldn’t have a place to train at when I returned. So I had to work hard on it, do all the things I was supposed to, I had to open my gym. It’s opening will be on June 1st, and lets go.

In California?

Yeah, right there. It’s a lot of work. Even for this event I couldn’t train a lot, I was doing the things for my gym and training, doing both, and I tried as hard as I could. Thanks’ God everything worked out, and now I’ll focus on my gym and in World.

How will you come to Worlds? Will you fight among the medium weights?

I don’t know. I’m getting lighter and lighter everyday and I don’t know in what weight I’ll be then. I thought it would be hard to fight -78kg, but I’m 76kg with the gi, so let’s see how my body’s feeling when it’s time. I don’t like losing weight, I like competing on the weight I am at the time of the competition. I used to fight on the medium division, but I’ve always fought among the mediums so I wouldn’t have to lose weight. But I was always below the weight limit, but I’ve always done it because I don’t like losing weight. If I’m a light weight fighter now, I’ll fight among the light weights… But I don’t know, let’s see…

Time’s short now, so if you want to fight among the light weights...

If I do an effort I can easily fight among the light weights, but I don’t like having to go through all that trouble. I like eating what I like, feeling fine…

Your father was at your corner once again, but now you’re in California and he’s in Brazil… How do you deal with it?

It’s been a pleasure to me: to be paid to come here and spend a week with my dad, which is something that never happen, almost never. I barely see my dad, so I started winning even before fighting, but I’m also getting paid to do what I love: competing with the top guys and do my best. That’s the dream.

While you were growing up, you used to submit everybody, but then when you got the black belt it brought some difficulties with it. What’s changed, now that you again are that Kron who comes and win it all?

I’ll tell you the truth: I grew old and became a man. After I was destroyed by Sergio Moraes (on his first World as a black belt), it took a long time for me to absorb it and to be cool about it. Now I'm feeling in my heart again that fell of wanting to be a champion, the need to train more and more to become better. But now I’m really starting to feel that I have to do things, like taking care of my gym and all that stuff. It’s not just training, it’s not all about me. I have to help the people around me too, so that makes me thankful for being on the position where I currently am just by being here in Italy competing, owning my own gym, being good in Jiu-Jitsu… To me, there’s no more defeat. I won’t let a bad result affect me like it did, not again.

Was that the main part in your getting more mature thing?

Yeah. I’ve turned into a man meanwhile… I was just a boy before.

Source: Tatame

Roger on the Blog: “I want to win another ten Worlds Championships

More than ever before, Roger Gracie has become synonymous with the mother of all Jiu-Jitsu championships. Besides being the winningest champion in Worlds history, the Gracie, for some years now, has decided to make the competition the only stage for gi-clad combat on which to appear over the course of the year.

That being the case, there’s nothing more fitting than to relaunch the GRACIEMAG at the Worlds Blog with an exclusive interview with the three-time absolute champion black belt. Still undecided as to whether he will put in an appearance in Long Beach in 2011, Roger didn’t sidestep controversy and spoke with candor. In the conversation he revealed how he feels he is the most consistent Jiu-Jitsu competitor of all times. He also said he’s more concerned with his own Jiu-Jitsu than that of his opponents. On Rodolfo Vieira, the big name in the gentle art in 2011, he said he expects a great fight when they finally lock horns. In wrapping up, he disclosed his not-at-all-modest objective: to achieve perfection!

Source: Gracie Magazine

Lesnar out of UFC 131 amid health battles

Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar has had a reoccurrence of diverticulitis and has been forced to withdraw from his June 11 fight against Junior dos Santos in Vancouver.

Lesnar, 33, said he is not planning to retire and is considering his treatment options. Lesnar said during a hastily arranged conference call Thursday that he spent 14 hours undergoing tests and meeting with doctors Wednesday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Surgery is an option, but Lesnar said he is still in the middle of accumulating information.

UFC president Dana White said Shane Carwin will replace Lesnar and will face dos Santos in a No. 1 contender’s match in the main event of UFC 131. Carwin has been training to fight Jon Olav Einemo.

Diverticulitis has forced Brock Lesnar to withdraw from UFC 131. He is seeking treatment options.

In 2009, Lesnar had to withdraw from a heavyweight title defense against Shane Carwin at UFC 106, though he was able to return to fight Carwin at UFC 116 on July 3, 2010. Lesnar submitted Carwin in the second round but lost his title to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 on Oct. 23.

Lesnar was training for the dos Santos fight after appearing with him on Spike TV’s reality show “The Ultimate Fighter,” but said he hasn’t been able to train the way he needs to in order to be ready for June 11.

“I dodged a bullet about two years ago with diverticulitis, at that time not knowing what the problem was,” Lesnar said. “I dodged the bullet by not having the surgery. Diverticulitis is an illness that never goes away. It’s something I’ve dealt with since my first occurrence, and I’ve been battling with it. It’s something that’s in your colon for the rest of your life, and I’ve been able to maintain it to a point where it’s tolerable.

“I was able to go through two training camps – Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez – and made it through those camps without having a bout or any symptoms.”

Diverticulitis is a condition of the colon that occurs when pouches form on the colon and become inflamed. The only way to treat them is with antibiotics, or they can be removed by excising a part of the colon. Lesnar said he’s been battling symptoms for the past three months but still hasn’t determined whether or not to have surgery.

He apologized to dos Santos, the UFC and Spike for having to pull out, but said he wasn’t able to train anywhere near the capacity needed to be ready to compete. However, he insisted that he would find a solution and continue his career.

Lesnar said the illness is not as serious as it was in 2009, when the situation became life-threatening, but said it “drains my entire body down.” He said he believed he would be able to find a long-term solution that wouldn’t risk his health but would allow him to resume his career.

“I am forced to make a decision to either have surgery or to deal with this the rest of my life,” Lesnar said. “I’m fighting a different fight here than having to give up a fight on June 11. A lot of things go through your mind as an athlete, especially myself. This is something that has been wearing on me for about a month now. Different thoughts come to your mind, but it wouldn’t be fair to myself, or to my family, or to the people who I have to get into the Octagon with and perform in front of, because I wouldn’t have been 100 percent on June 11. I’m not there now and I had to make a decision this week, to allow the UFC enough time.

“I have enough respect for them. My health is No. 1. My family is No. 1. It was a hard decision. I’m choked up about it, and there is nothing I can do. I’ll tell you one thing: I’m not retiring. This isn’t the end of my fight career.”

Lesnar said he wasn’t able to get himself to 100 percent after his previous problem with diverticulitis and estimated that he was 85 or 90 percent of himself in his bouts with Carwin and Velasquez.

He said he’d adjusted his diet and felt he was handling the problem, which made the reoccurrence more frustrating.

“What’s been so frustrating about this, when this thing came back to bite me in the [behind] here, is that I’ve been just diligent about [following doctor’s orders],” Lesnar said. ” This is my life. I take this very seriously. If you ask anyone about me, I’m very professional when it comes to my fight career. I follow things. I haven’t gotten to where I am today by not being dedicated. I have been very dedicated with my diet. We’ve been doing different things, and new things, and things that have probably carried me this far.”

Lesnar said a normal person can manage it, but because he’s a professional athlete competing at the highest level, he pushes his body harder and asks more of it. He said, “I feel bad to say this, but I’ve been unsuccessful being able to manage this [while still] being an ultimate fighter.”

Source: Yahoo Sports


UFC Champion Jon Jones Opts Out of Surgery, Gunning for Late Summer/Early Fall Return

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will not have to have surgery to repair a tear in his thumb, and will be ready to return to action sometime between September and November.

This is according to Jones’ manager, Malki Kawa, who spoke to MMAWeekly.com on Friday after reports surfaced that his client was not going to be forced to go under the knife to repair damage on his thumb.

Several weeks ago, Jones was pushed to the sidelines after doctors advised the UFC’s top light heavyweight that his thumb injury required surgery and rehab that would put him out of action until at least the latter part of 2011.

After visiting with doctors referred by the UFC and the surgeon who was going to do the work on Jones’ hand, they decided that surgery wasn’t required and Jones made the decision to wait.

“The message we got from everybody was that Jon needed to have surgery. That’s what the report showed, that’s what the MRI showed, that’s what every test and everything he had up until Wednesday was saying,” Kawa said on Friday.

“The UFC flew us out to their doctors here in Nevada on Wednesday. We came out here, we met with the doctor. The doctor looked at Jon and basically advised Jon that in his opinion that he thought that surgery was maybe a bit drastic. He didn’t have to have it if he didn’t want to if he could stand the pain and he didn’t have to sit out and go through all that rehab. Jon chose not to have the surgery. He wants to be back in the cage and fight. He thought it was something medically he absolutely (had to do) and this doctor gave him the option not to do it if he didn’t want to.”

The doctors in Las Vegas, in the process of doing tests on Jones’ hand, saw that overall he still had full range of motion with little pain in most areas. The decision was ultimately left up to Jones, and he opted out of surgery.

For now, he will be fitted with a cast and will have that on until he can be medically cleared midway through June.

“He has a tear, his thumb is torn. He was just like we’ll stabilize it, and see if we can help make the pain go away some more and after 30 days from now, you feel good, they’ll clear him medically to fight,” Kawa stated.

“He’ll still have the tear, it’s not going to heal on it’s own, but he felt that the actual surgery was too invasive for the tear that he had.”

As far as fighting in August, Kawa believes that his client would not have nearly enough time to train for a fight that soon because even after being cleared in June, he still needs time to get back into a full fight camp.

“Between the September/November area hopefully,” Kawa targeted for Jones’ return. “You’ve got to understand if he comes back June 11, the first day he’d be back is that Monday, and he’s not going to be able to go full speed that day and start an eight-week camp from that moment (to fight) Aug. 6.”

Jones was originally scheduled to face Rashad Evans, most likely in August at UFC 133. After the UFC light heavyweight champion was diagnosed with the thumb injury and was told surgery was required, the promotion opted to give Evans another fight and he is now scheduled to face Phil Davis on the Philadelphia card.

With the new information regarding Jones’ recovery and timeline for a return, it’s unknown if the UFC will change its schedule and pull Evans from the bout to potentially fight for the title a month or so later.

According to Jones’ manager, there are all kinds of possibilities on who his fighter could face next, but they are open to whatever the UFC decides.

“I’m thinking it could be Rampage (Jackson)/(Matt) Hamill, it could be (Lyoto) Machida, it could still be Rashad, you never know,” said Kawa. “At this point, it’s just the waiting game.”

Source: MMA Weekly

JZ Cavalcante vs. Justin Wilcox Targeted for Strikeforce Show June 18

It’s been several months since Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante stepped foot in the cage, but it appears he’s finally set for a return to action.

Cavalcante is expected to meet wrestling standout Justin Wilcox in a lightweight bout on the upcoming Strikeforce card on June 18 in Texas.

Sources indicated to MMAWeekly.com on Friday that the fight was agreed to for the upcoming Strikeforce show.

Cavalcante (15-4-1) has been out of action since last October when he lost a controversial decision to former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson.

Since that time, the Brazilian has been waiting for the call to get him back in the cage, and the call finally came.

Facing Cavalcante in June will be American Kickboxing Academy fighter Justin Wilcox (11-3), making his return to the cage on a six-fight winning streak.

The wrestling powerhouse has reeled off the wins in impressive fashion lately, and most recently put on a dominant performance over Rodrigo Damm at Strikeforce Challengers in April.

The bout between Cavalcante and Wilcox will serve as part of the June 18 card headlined by the next round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, including the return of heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.

Source: MMA Weekly

Bellator 44 Video: Hector Lombard KO’s Niko Vitale with One Punch

For two plus rounds, Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard and Niko Vitale left a lot to be desired in their non-title superfight at Bellator 44. The ending however delivered the dynamite people were looking for.

With one punch, Lombard put Vitale away to extend his current winning streak to 18.

Check out the video below to see Lombard’s latest KO win.


Source: MMA Weekly

Nogueira hopes for a good bout against Franklin 10h

With his contract signed, the Brazilian Rogerio Nogueira “Minotouro”, who’ll face Rich Franklin in UFC 133, in Philadelphia, United States, only compliments his opponent. After fighting three wrestlers in a row, the tough guy will finally show his striking game and, in order to do it well, he’ll intensify his Boxing trainings.

After two defeats in a row in UFC, Nogueira wants to redeem himself on the event, a goal shared by his opponent, who was also beat down on his previous bout. “The bout will be a good one, Rich is a guy who likes the stand-up game. He’s skilled, left-handed, a former champion a he has a big name. It’s a pretty interesting matchup”, said the Brazilian, on a chat with TATAME.

Minotauro’s twin brother also told us how he intends to find his way back into the winning track. “I’ll train Boxing for a while with (Luis Carlos) Dorea in Bahia. I’ll do sparrings with professional athletes and train Muay Thai with Anderson (Silva), who’ll help me a lot due to the fact he’s also a left-handed guy”, said the athlete, revealing the “Spider” has given him some tips, since he knocked Rich Franklin out twice.

Source: Tatame

Bernardo and Kron shine at BJJ Professional Cup

After winning their supermatches at the BJJ Professional Cup, Bernardo Faria and Kron Gracie returned to the mats and were the big standouts at the event.

Bernardo had the most matches. In the superheavyweight division, first he beat Lúcio Lagarto with a sweep, and then swept and passed the guard of Chico Mendes in the decider, bringing the bout to a close with a choke from back mount. In the absolute, Bernardo got the finish in his first two matches before again facing Lúcio Lagarto, in the most hotly-disputed match of the day, putting on a fine display of sweeps and achieving back mount (8 to 4).

The decider, against Rômulo Barral, didn’t end how everyone expected it would. Bernardo complained about how a footlock was positioned and, following an argument between the fighters and referee, Barral opted not to continue. Thus the Alliance representative was the big winner on the day and he and Rômulo then buried the hatchet. It’s worth noting that the absolute was worth 7,000 euros.

Now Kron got the tapout in every match he was in. After beating Yan in the superfight, his maiden middleweight outing ended with a choke from back mount. Next, he used a guillotine in going through to the final against Gilbert Durinho, who submitted Alan Freitas and got past Eduardo Pessoa on points (6 to 2). In the decider Durinho took the lead early on with an eyeful takedown, but Kron struck back with a choke from the guard, placing him at the top of the winners’ podium.

Another with a fine display in Biella was Rômulo Barral, who finished his first match with a choke, before facing Eduardo Rios and then Raphael Abi-Rihan in the medium heavyweight final. Against Abi the Gracie Barra black belt swept and sunk a snug reverse triangle. Raphael escaped but was unable to turn the score around.

The featherweight division ended with Fernando Vieira and Reinaldo Ribeiro facing off in the final. With a sweep and guard pass, Fernando took the gold and 4,000 euros in prize money.

Thiago “Monstro” Borges won the ultraheavyweight division, rallying back after falling behind on the scoreboard against Ricardo Barros. He trailed by a sweep early on but secured the win with a subsequent reversal and guard pass.

Master – In the veterans division the Silva family was the big standout, with twins Adriano and Thiago, two Barbosinha black belts, coming up spades. Adriano won the medium heavyweight division, overcoming Antônio Sérgio Canudo, while Thiago took second at middleweight, beating Zé Beleza’s stalwart student Felipe Souza, who overcame seasoned competitors like Roberto Atalla.

In the absolute the brothers set an example by locking horns for real in the final. Adriano came out on top, winning with an arm-triangle choke.

At featherweight, Alvaro Bobadilla beat two opponents before going into the final against Wellington Megaton, who went straight through without having to compete. The decisive match saw Megaton come out on top by 4 to 2, all the points coming from sweeps. At lightweight Alan Vieira captured the gold after facing Eduardo Azevedo in the final. The prize for the winners of the master contest was 1,000 dollars for weight group winners and 2,000 for the winner of the absolute.

Source: Gracie Magazine

Shark Fights 15 Full Fight Card Announced

The card features a full pro card line-up in addition to some of New Mexico’s top amateur MMA talent.

“We are looking forward to our debut in New Mexico and putting on a great show. We built the fight card with New Mexico fans in mind and feel that we have a stellar line-up. The amateur portion of the card marks another first for our organization and we are very excited. These young talented fighters are now able to use Shark Fights as a platform to advance their careers,” said Wes Nolen of Shark Fight Promotions. “We are thrilled to not only showcase A-list pro fighters, but also top level amateurs looking to earn their pro cards. The card is stacked with elite talent on all fronts.”

The Shark Fights 15 card will feature a total of 11 bouts. In addition to Camozzi vs. Villasenor and Branch vs. May the action-packed fight card will also feature New Mexico’s own Bobby Huron out of Jackson’s MMA, Bellator veteran Jared Downing of Cedar Rapids Iowa, WEC veteran Frank Gomez, the long awaited match-up between Kyle Bracey and Artenas Young, New Mexico’s top amateur talent.

Official Shark Fights 15 Line-Up:

Main Bouts:
-Chris Camozzi vs. Joey Villasenor
-Jeremy May vs. David Branch
-Lionel Lanham vs. TBA
-Jared Downing vs. Bobby Huron
-Kyle Bracey vs. Artenas Young
-Timothy Snyder vs. Frank Gomez

Preliminary Bouts:
-Robbie Guiterrez vs. Russell Wilson
-Kasey Yates vs. Fredrico Crosby
-Adam Gonzales vs. Zac Hynes
-Edgar Lopez vs. Eric Baca
-Armando Mendiblez vs. Randy Ray Sanchez

*Card and Schedule Subject to Change

The event will take place on Friday, May 27 at the Santa Ana Star Center in New Mexico. Doors open at 6:30pm MT. Fights start at 7:30 pm MT. Tickets are available online at www.sharkfights.com and www.santaanastarcenter.com. Fans can also purchase tickets at the Santa Ana Center Box Office and the Santa Ana Star Casino Rewards Desk.

Source: MMA Weekly


Boxer Jeff Lacy Calls Into Question If Nick Diaz Is Serious About Facing Him
by Damon Martin

Former middleweight boxing champion Jeff Lacy is ready to strap on the gloves and welcome Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz to the ring, but he’s questioning how serious the Stockton, Calif. native is about actually boxing him.

Lacy has apparently already signed on to face Diaz later this year, but now with all the talk about Diaz potentially facing UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre instead of boxing, he’s wondering if the fight will happen.

“I’ve agreed to the fight, his side sent out a press release saying he had agreed to the fight. But I’ve heard through the grapevine that he’s not serious about this, that maybe his so-called heavy hands can’t back up his big talk” said Lacy in a press release on Thursday.

The former boxing champion isn’t shying away from calling Diaz out because he’s ready to face him, but not sure that his potential opponent will walk the walk after talking the talk.

“Diaz started this and I’m going to end it. He called me out, I accepted, that means we fight. That’s how it is in the boxing world; hopefully in the mixed martial arts business it works the same,” Lacy commented.

“I’ve been hearing for years about MMA taking over boxing. We’ll see about that in the ring with Diaz and me.”

Diaz has actively spoken about pursuing a career in boxing after his last win in MMA over top contender Paul Daley in early April.

In Diaz’s current Strikeforce deal it allows him to box as well as do MMA, so he’s free and clear to do that, but it doesn’t mean the people in charge are gung ho for the idea.

UFC President Dana White has stated on several occasions that he doesn’t believe Diaz should enter the boxing arena, despite the fact that he has shown great stand-up in his MMA bouts.
White has said he plans on meeting with Diaz and his manager Cesar Gracie to discuss the his possible future in boxing, but as of yet they parties have not come together for a discussion.
Regardless of that meeting, Jeff Lacy is content to wait and see if Diaz really wants to face him or not. The boxing promoters have even titled the fight calling Diaz vs. Lacy ‘Breaking History’ ahead of the potential match-up that would take place later this year.

Lacy said he’s even picked out his ring entrance music, and plans on that being a pre-cursor to what will happen to Diaz if they meet.

“I’ve already picked out my ring walk music before I pummel Diaz. AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood, You Got It”,” Lacy stated.

“Hope to see you soon Nick.”

Source: MMA Weekly

Lesnar: ‘This Isn’t the End of My Fighting Career’
by Chris Nelson

Brock Lesnar had been noticing symptoms for three months, even while filming the 13th season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” He knew exactly what the problem was and how serious it could be, but hoped nonetheless that it wouldn’t force him to bow out of his scheduled June 11 engagement with rival “TUF” coach Junior dos Santos.

On Wednesday, the former UFC heavyweight champion spent 14 hours at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., undergoing what UFC President Dana White classed a “bumper-to-bumper” battery of tests. The news wasn’t good: Lesnar’s diverticulitis -- the intestinal infection which first disrupted his fighting career in November 2009 -- was flaring up again.

“Diverticulitis is an illness that never goes away,” Lesnar said during a Thursday media conference call. “It’s something that I’ve dealt with since my first occurrence and have been battling with it. It’s something that’s in your colon for the rest of your life.

“What it does is, it drains my entire body down. Basically, you’ve got an infection in your stomach and all my resources went toward fighting this problem instead of rebuilding what I tore down in the gym.”

Lesnar had two decisions to address. One was fairly clear-cut, if not easy to make: pulling out of his fight.

“The first thing that came to mind was, from today until June 11, I can’t be well-enough prepared to step in the Octagon and face Junior dos Santos,” Lesnar explained. “It wouldn’t be fair to myself or my family, or to the people I have to get in the Octagon and perform in front of, because I wouldn’t have been 100-percent on June 11 ... It was a hard decision. I’m choked up about it. There’s nothing I can do.”

“It’s not as serious as last time,” said Lesnar, whose first brush with diverticulitis left him hospitalized and reportedly near-death. “It just didn’t allow me to train the way I needed to train for a No. 1 contender’s bout ... I only have three weeks to turn this thing around. We just didn’t feel like I could do that.”

The second decision is one Lesnar is weighing more heavily.

“I am forced with the decision to either have surgery, or to deal with this for the rest of my life,” said Lesnar, who was uncharacteristically emotive at times during Wednesday’s call. “Obviously, I’m fighting a different fight here, other than having to give up the fight on June 11.”

Doctors originally urged Lesnar to have surgery, which could mend the problem by removing a section of his colon, in 2009. At the time, Lesnar resisted, instead relying on antibiotics and a strict diet to fight the infection. Now, the 33-year-old finds himself faced with the same choice in a different situation.

“Now I’m at another fork in the road to where ... now, what do I do?” said Lesnar. “I gotta follow-up with my doctors and weigh the risks and rewards. I went down there yesterday to figure out the problem. We’re waiting on a number of different tests to come back.”

In the meantime, Lesnar will be replaced by the man he beat in his July 2010 return, Shane Carwin. Watching Carwin fight Dos Santos at UFC 131 will no doubt be a frustrating experience for the sidelined and hyper-competitive heavyweight, but Lesnar hopes people will understand that there are greater things at stake.

“I wanted more than anything to fight Junior dos Santos and to win that fight and to get a shot at Cain Velasquez. I wanted nothing more than that. But now, more importantly, my health and my family are more important. So, we keep things in perspective,” said Lesnar.

Regardless of whether he goes under the knife in the near future, Lesnar vowed that he will return to the Octagon.

“It’s a matter of removing some of my colon and reattaching it, and I can’t foresee that being a career-threatening ordeal. At least, I hope not,” Lesnar said. “I’ll tell you one thing: I’m not retiring. This isn’t the end of my fighting career.

“I believe there’s a solution to every problem. I just gotta find the right solution to fix this problem. This isn’t the end of Brock Lesnar. This is a speed bump in the road. I’ve hit a lot of speed bumps in my career and this is one of them.”

Source: Sherdog

UFC 131 card (6/11 Vancouver, B.C. at Rogers Arena)
By Zach Arnold

Dark matches/TV prelims

Featherweights: Michihiro Omigawa vs. Darren Elkins
Heavyweights: Joey Beltran vs. Dave Herman
Middleweights: Nick Ring vs. James Head
Light Heavyweights: Kryzysztof Soszynski vs. Anthony Perosh
Featherweights: Dustin Poirier vs. Jason Young
Middleweights: Jesse Bongfeldt vs. Chris Weidman
Lightweights: Sam Stout vs. Yves Edwards
Main card

Featherweights: Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes
Middleweights: Demian Maia vs. Mark Munoz
Lightweights: Mac Danzig vs. Donald Cerrone
Heavyweights: Shane Carwin vs. Jon Olav Einemo
Heavyweights (#1 contender’s match): Brock Lesnar vs. Junior dos Santos

Source: Fight Opinion

Shane Carwin comments on Brock Lesnar pulling out of UFC 131, taking his spot against Junior Dos Santos
By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

My manager said 'This is where you belong' and I am going to make sure I do everything I can to prove him right.

Please help make UFC 131 one of the biggest cards in the year.

I hope Brock is able to recover. I look forward to facing him again one day."

Carwin was already scheduled to compete on the card in a bout with Jon Olav Einemo, so he's already in the midst of his training camp for this event. Now, he'll have a chance to earn another shot at the UFC Heavyweight Championship with a win over Dos Santos on June 11 in Vancouver.

Penick's Analysis: They lucked out in having Carwin ready to go on this event already, as he's the next best fight for this spot after Lesnar. This is still one hell of a heavyweight fight, even though it's not nearly as big as the fight between Lesnar and Dos Santos would have been. Still, after being out nearly a full year himself, Carwin finds himself in a very opportunistic spot, and this fight with Dos Santos is a huge opportunity for him to get back to a shot at the title once again.

[Shane Carwin art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]

Source: MMA Torch

Down But Not Out: Brock Lesnar Declairs Diverticulitis Won’t Stop Him
by Damon Martin

Instead of hitting the gym, doing workouts and sparring with his training partners on Wednesday, former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar spent 14 hours at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
Lesnar, who defied odds and bounced back after he was stricken with diverticulitis in 2009, hadn’t been feeling himself for the past couple of months, and he knew deep down that something wasn’t right… again.

The former NCAA champion knew what the symptoms surrounding diverticulitis were because he had dealt with them before, but since that time he had completely changed his diet and lifestyle to prevent it from happening again.

“I knew right away that I was feeling the same feelings, but you start lying to yourself and start looking at yourself in the mirror like no, it can’t be,” Lesnar commented about when he felt the illness returning. “My diet has carried me this far. I’m feeling okay, but there’s always that somebody knocking on the door saying that this illness, it’s something that needs to be addressed.”

The symptoms surrounding this latest bout with the debilitating disease started for Lesnar a few months ago while he was filming Season 13 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” The Minnesota resident did his best to battle through it, but in the end his body couldn’t be pushed any further.

“I’ve been dealing with some symptoms for the last I would say three months. I felt it a little bit while I was filming ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ and the only way to treat the symptoms is by getting on antibiotics, and allowing the antibiotics to take its course, and to fight the infection,” Lesnar explained.

“During the course of this training camp I felt another infection, got another CT scan done on my stomach where it was visible inflation, and due to that what it does to you, it doesn’t allow me to train to my full capability. I was forced to make a decision to go back down to the doctor this week to figure out how far this thing was along, and what it does, it drains my entire body down.”
Doctors have been hard at work to try and help Lesnar in his recovery, but are also at a loss because diverticulitis is rare in men in their 30s, much less dealing with an athlete whose body is literally his livelihood.

When he felt the effects of it this time, Lesnar, who admits he was probably around “85 or 90 percent” when he fought Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez, just couldn’t push any further with Junior Dos Santos right around the corner.

“Diverticulitis is an illness that never goes away. It’s something that I’ve dealt with since my first occurrence and have been battling with it. It’s something that’s in your colon for the rest of your life. I’ve been able to maintain it to a point where it’s tolerable, but I was able to go through two training camps, Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez, and made it through those camps without having a bout or any symptoms,” Lesnar said.

“It just didn’t allow me to train the way I need to train for a number one contender’s bout.”
An athlete and a competitor for almost his entire adult life, Lesnar understands how to fight and work towards an ultimate goal. Right now, however, it’s not a heavyweight fighter standing in his way, or a wrestler trying to pin him to the mat.

It’s a disease that is robbing Lesnar of his dream to compete in the UFC and fight the best fighters in the world, but he’s not backing down from this challenge just like he won’t back down from fighting anyone in the Octagon.

“I’m fighting a different fight here than having to give up the fight on June 11. My health is number one, my family is number one, and it was a hard decision. I’m choked up about it,” Lesnar stated.
“I told my wife and everybody else around me about a week ago I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. We’ve got to find a solution to this.”

Lesnar is still in discussions with his doctor on whether or not they’ll opt for surgery or continue with the treatment to deal with the diverticulitis. He says there’s no certain timeline for the decision, but he’ll deal with it soon enough.

One thing Lesnar wanted to deal with right away on Thursday, however, is getting the word out that despite a second go round with diverticulitis, fans haven’t seen the last of him in the Octagon.
Brock Lesnar the fighter is far from finished.

“I’m telling you one thing, I’m not retiring. This isn’t the end of my fight career,” said Lesnar. “This is something that I believe, and I have a strong faith, there’s a solution to every problem. I’ve just got to find the right solution to fix this problem. I love this sport and I love what I do, this isn’t the end of Brock Lesnar. This is a speed bump on the road, and trust me I’ve incurred a lot of speed bumps throughout my career, and this is one of them.

“I’m here to tell everybody, because I’ve been here before, I want to state that this is not an end of my career. Far from it.”

Source: MMA Weekly

MMA Diet: Alcohol
by Cameron Conaway

It’s much easier to rationalize reasons in favor of our habits than it is to seek the truth that may discredit them. It’s why we tune in to the biased-towards-our-view news stations and shun others. It’s why we jump on fad diets that, truth be told, are remarkably similar to how we already eat. And, yes, it’s where much of our justification comes for drinking alcohol: “I need time out with the guys” or “I just need to unwind, it’s been a rough week.”

Through their highlight reels, masterful performances, inspiring training routines and confident interviews, MMA athletes often appear superhuman. The truth is, however, they are flawed and human like us. They struggle with temptations and choices and insecurities like us. If The Ultimate Fighter taught us one thing, it’s that MMA attracts diverse personalities. It exposed us to fighters who have bachelor’s and even master’s degrees, who drink too much, who miss family, who are emotionally unstable, who do meditative yoga when others are socializing, who are artists, who are fathers, who eat vegan while the team BBQ’s steak. In regards to alcohol, especially in a culture of aggressive masculinity, there’s a sort of unquestioned assumption that it’s “just what you do.” While research has proven that occasional and moderate alcohol consumption does have some positive impacts on human health, it’s also proven quite the opposite – especially in regards to athletes.

Some believe wholeheartedly in the French Paradox – that the comparatively low rate of heart disease despite heavy butter and cream consumption is caused by the frequency with which the French drink red wine. It has spawned research on red wine, and a booming supplement market has grown for what is believed to be the power health factor found in it: Resveratrol. Others accept that there are healthy ingredients in many alcohol products – barley and grapes for example – but point out that alcohol is involved in half of fatal vehicle accidents in the US and how heavy drinking damages the liver, heart and can increase the chance of developing certain cancers. Some researchers have shown that “moderate drinkers” a vague and relatively undefined term, tend to have higher HDL levels (the “good” cholesterol). While other researchers suggest that this could be because those who are moderate drinkers tend to have a healthier bodyweight, get more sleep and exercise more frequently than do heavy drinkers. It’s estimated that alcohol has been around for 10,000 years. This debate and counter debate, this rationalizing and discrediting has probably been going for just as long. To date, there are no real long-term studies on alcohol’s impact on the heart. And the much-publicized short-time studies have only shown the obvious: That consuming four or five drinks throughout the week is better than getting tanked on Saturday night then abstaining until the following weekend.

So, in the wake of all this rises our thesis. How might alcohol impact an MMA fighter?

(1) Sleep. Alcohol reduces the quality of sleep. Sleep is perhaps the most important (and overlooked) factor when it comes to the body’s ability to recover from training.

(2) Testosterone. Alcohol can lower testosterone and increase estrogen. Testosterone’s benefits on muscle growth and recovery are well-known.

(3) Dehydration. Most MMA fighters already supplement with electrolytes in order to replace those lost in sweat during training. Add to this that alcohol can cause dehydration and now they’ll need to incorporate yet another step to ensure proper hydration levels.

(4) Fat. Because alcohol doesn’t carry much nutritional benefit, it is considered “empty calories.” At seven calories per gram, an MMA athlete can quickly add worthless calories to their diet.

(5) Protein. Alcohol can negatively impact protein synthesis – the body’s ability to use protein to grow and repair itself.

(6) Vitamins and Minerals. Alcohol causes many vitamins and minerals to drain rapidly. Even small drops in these substances may cause a fighter in training to not recover as quickly, be able to train as hard. It may even lower their immune response.

Source: Sherdog

Judging how big Zuffa’s new insurance policy is for fighters
By Zach Arnold

Yesterday, ESPN ran the news on their TV ticker that Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard was postponed from UFC 130 due to both men suffering injuries. However, the much larger news announced yesterday was not covered on ESPN. It was covered in a UFC/Zuffa conference call.

Here is how Lorenzo Fertitta introduced the news yesterday on the conference call:

“The issue of accidental insurance for fighters has been an issue, obviously, for a long time. Of course, fighters have always been and are covered for anything that happens during an event or during a fight. The complexity comes as far as providing insurance for fighters when they’re not in a fight, during their training, during time in-between and it’s unprecedented in the fact that in combat sports this has actually never been done. About three years ago, me & Dana sat down with the rest of our executive and, essentially, came to the decision that we were going to figure out how to do this, no matter what. And after a long, exhausting process of going through insurance companies and trying to be creative to figure out how we could put together a structure that would insure these fighters, we’re finally at a point where we’re happy to be able to announce that starting June 1st all of the fighters that are under contract with Zuffa, which would include all of the fighters on the UFC roster as well as the Strikeforce roster, will be covered under this plan. The coverage will also be available worldwide, so not only will this cover the fighters that live in the United States but will also cover the fighters from no matter where you are, whether it be Brazil, Europe, Asia, Canada, no matter where that be. In addition to that, Zuffa will pay 100% of the premium so this is a complete benefit to our fighters, they don’t have to cover out of pocket for any monthly fees or monthly dues or anything of that nature and the coverage will be up to $50,000 per fighter per year. It will cover everything from physician services, lab tests, emergency room, anesthetics, physical therapy, anything that would involve any type of an accident. So, with that, Dana you want to add anything else?

“And like Lorenzo said, this is a huge deal for us. This is a huge deal for us, this is a big milestone in the company. You know, you always hear me talking about milestones and all the things we’ve accomplished, we’ve been trying to figure this one out since we started the company. To be here today announcing that we can finally cover these fighters… and not just for fights but for training, like Lorenzo said, it’s a big day not only for this company but for combat sports in general. It’s never been done. People have talked about it, people have attempted to do it, it’s never been done and now it finally has and it’s a proud moment for us.”

The fallout

There’s a lot to react to here in regards to this news. I’m sure you have your own opinions and I sure want to hear them. I’ll start off by asking you this question: Is this announcement a big deal, little deal, or no deal at all?

My answer: Solid deal.

(Our friend, Keith Harris, disagrees: “It’s not really that different from what WWE does, except UFC pays for injury insurance, while WWE pays for the medical bills when their wrestlers need surgery.”)

In response to Keith, I would say the following: old-school wrestling fans know how tough it is for wrestlers to get insurance. Three words: Lloyd’s of London. Those policies got discontinued for a reason.

As for yesterday’s Zuffa insurance news, the first thought that crossed my mind is that this is a smart union-busting move by a company that should not want to see a fighter’s association (like Rob Maysey’s MMAFA) crop up. My second thought is that this keeps the pressure off of the organization in regards to the classification status of fighters as independent contractors as opposed to employees. The truth regarding any business ran by the Fertitta family is that unions always play a big part in their decision-making and their corporate bottom-line. Hell, it’s been a big part of the narrative in regards to why MMA hasn’t been legalized in the state of New York. (Ask Robert Joyner about that.)

Speaking of New York (like Eddie Goldman did yesterday), I can’t help but think that a positive benefit from this insurance announcement is that it will indirectly help Zuffa out in terms of PR in the state. No longer can politicians argue that fighters do not have insurance to cover accidents while under contract.

I thought Dana White’s comments were most telling on the conference call. When he was talking about others in the past promising to give fighters health insurance and benefits, that clearly was a shot at the IFL. Remember them? They were going to bring some heft and momentum to the table in regards to financial security for fighters. It didn’t pan out the way it was supposed to (on paper).

Most curious to me regarding this announcement yesterday was how it was done. It was done using a standard, basic conference call where a few people are allowed to call and listen in. You would think that for such a big announcement that there would be a big press conference to discuss what amounts to a major PR triumph. Dana White talked about how Zuffa’s new insurance policy is something that we haven’t seen in the world of combat sports. If that’s the case, why not go full-bore with a media splash? The announcement was done in a pretty low-key manner.

What will be most interesting is to see how other fight promoters react. Will they try to copy what Zuffa is doing here? If so, good. We may find out later on down the road that the insurance policies Zuffa has purchased for their contract fighters is not too expensive or not too fancy. Fine. The bottom is that they have now got the ball rolling here on an important business matter and I would much rather have other promoters try to copy it in some fashion than ignore the precedent being set here.

Source: Fight Opinion

Sherdog Prospect Watch: Yuri Villefort
by Rodolfo Roman

When fans think of superstars from other sports, larger-than-life figures spring to mind. Yuri Villefort wants to be that kind of torch bearer for mixed martial arts.

“My goal is to be like the Pele or Muhammad Ali of MMA,” he said.

Villefort, who holds a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, is preparing for an upcoming fight in May in South Florida. Unbeaten in six professional outings, he has gone the distance only once. Villefort last appeared at an Action Fight League in June, when he submitted Jason Fitzhugh with a second-round armbar at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

In March, Villefort celebrated his 20th birthday. He cautioned future foes not to let his age fool them.

“I see people my age, and guys don’t know what to do,” he said, “but fighting has taught me what I want in my life.”

Born in Brasilia, Brazil, he was spoon fed martial arts. At age 5, he began studying judo with his brother, Marcus, and those lessons remain with him more than a decade later.

“I did it until I was 12,” he said. “For kids, judo is the best because it teaches self-respect and self-defense.”

Villefort gravitated naturally to combat sports competition. His father, BJJ black belt Francisco Silva, was a jiu-jitsu legend, reportedly winning 300 fights. Villefort, who fights at 170 pounds, never had the chance to see his father compete, as he retired at 40.

“I saw pictures of my dad fighting,” he said. “They were black and white pictures. The people of his generation have a lot of stories.”

Villefort briefly ventured into soccer before moving to Rio de Janeiro to begin BJJ training at Brazilian Top Team. There, he and his brothers trained for a time alongside former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho and the Nogueira brothers, Antonio Rodrigo and Antonio Rogerio. Villefort competed in amateur BJJ and boxing as a teen.

Opportunity knocked when his brother, Danillo Villefort, was invited by Rafael Dias to train at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla. -- a school headed by Ricardo Liborio. Invited by his brother to join him, Villefort packed his bags at 16 and left for Florida. He spent roughly four years at ATT before parting ways with the gym in March. The split, according to Villefort, was amicable.

“I wasn’t happy over there,” he said. “I grew up there. I love everyone. I don’t have problems with anyone. It’s kind of like I just got my own wings and flew like a bird.”

Now, he, his brother and other fighters rent a warehouse in nearby Boca Raton, Fla., and train on their own.

“We don’t have a team. It’s just us,” Villefort said. “We pay to use the facility. We don’t fight for anyone. The sport is changing. The teams are getting too big.”

In addition, Villefort spars with former ATT teammates Jorge Santiago and Gesias Cavalcante, along with former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. He thinks MMA is undergoing major changes.

“I believe that the sport is going to be like boxing, where you rent a facility, train for a couple weeks and then you fight,” Villefort said. “It’s hard to train with a big group of people. I believe that [this] is the future. The focus on the training depends on you.”

At the start of his fighting career, he pushed back against stronger and more experienced opponents with sheer talent and will. Those challenges have shaped him into one of the sport’s most promising prospects in any weight class.

“All my fights have been against guys that were stronger than me,” Villefort said. “I fight guys who are in their late 20s and 30s. I’m 15 times stronger than I was, so I can defend if someone wants to take me down.”

“We don’t fight for anyone. The sport is changing. The teams are getting too big.”-- Villefort on his “team.”

Villefort follows a rigorous training schedule six days a week. The 20-year-old prospect trains twice a day on Mondays and Wednesdays and three times a day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He also adheres to a strict diet.

“You are what you eat, so I watch my food,” Villefort said. “I’m restrictive with my foods.”

Confident in both his striking and submission grappling, Villefort has focused much of his effort on improving his wrestling. In a division populated by accomplished wrestlers, it seems a wise decision.

“In my division,” Villefort said, “you have to know wrestling.”

Backed by hard work and considerable talent, Villefort only sees more success in his future. He wants to reach the pinnacle of MMA and compete in the UFC: “I hope to one day fight with the best.”

Source: Sherdog

Winning Bellator Tourney, Jay Hieron Prepares to Take Ben Askren’s Title
by Mick Hammond

At times, Jay Hieron has seemed crestfallen. From promotions closing to contract negotiations stalling, he’s seen his share of things not going according to plan.

So it is with great pleasure that with his win over Rick Hawn to claim this season’s Bellator welterweight tournament this past weekend, things are on track, both inside and outside the cage.
“Everything went according to plan,” Hieron told MMAWeekly.com. “I planned to use a lot of kicks, use my footwork and angles, and that’s what I did.”

The win did come with some cost.

“In that last round, he re-broke my nose,” said Hieron. “The last fight I had three, four weeks ago, I broke my nose and couldn’t even spar or have any kind of contact going into the fight.

“(Hawn) hit me somewhere in the second round and it just swelled up and I couldn’t breathe, and that’s why I was grabbing my nose a lot. Other than that, I felt great, sharp as ever.”

Feeling his performance was strong, Hieron was surprised that he won the fight via split decision.
“I thought it was unanimous all the way around,” he stated. “I knew I won, but like they say: never leave it in the hands of the judges. I give him a slight advantage in the third because he was more rested and I could hardly breathe at all.

“I definitely won the first two rounds hands down. My output was way more than his: punches, kicks, strikes, and I had a takedown on him in the second. I would love to the see punch stat numbers; I doubled his (output).”

Having won the tournament, Hieron now moves on to his next objective: taking the Bellator welterweight title from Ben Askren.

“I can’t wait,” he exclaimed. “The tournament’s been a grind and it’s definitely been hard to come off a fight being injured and having to fight a few weeks after that, but it’s made me that much more confident and mentally stronger than before.

“Going into this next fight I’m coming in 100-percent healthy and even that much sharper than I was my last few fights.”

With a few months before their title fight, Hieron is already feeling he’s got a definite edge on the champion.

“He is a great wrestler, but that’s about it,” said Hieron. “I’m not looking past anybody – he is a tough dude – but I have a great game plan going in, I’ll be well rested and ready to kick it into sixth or seventh gear.

“Everything I’ve done has gotten me to this place, and I’m going to make the best of it when I get there.”

After numerous issues delayed his assault on the top of the 170-pound ranks, Hieron is finally on track and will continue full steam ahead towards accomplishing his next goal.

“Thanks to Xtreme Couture and the fans for checking me out and staying behind me when I was down and wasn’t fighting; they gave me a lot of positive feedback,” he concluded. “Look for me next time when I get my title shot.”

Source: MMA Weekly

The Natural: A Retrospective

A Retrospective

For 14 years, he embodied toughness, grit and smarts, a master strategist and ultimate warrior all wrapped up in one. He was brilliant and vicious, thoughtful and cruel. There could be no better ambassador for the sport of mixed martial arts. On April 30, the man they called “The Natural” walked off into the sunset in front of more than 55,000 fans at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Couture’s career spanned three decades and encompassed 30 professional bouts, more than half (16) of them UFC title fights. He leaves the sport with 16 wins inside the Octagon, trailing only fellow UFC hall of famer Matt Hughes (18). Couture defeated seven former UFC champions -- Vitor Belfort (twice), Maurice Smith, Kevin Randleman, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Tim Sylvia and Mark Coleman -- and remains one of only two men, B.J. Penn being the other, to win UFC titles in two weight classes.

As the 47-year-old legend turns over a new leaf in retirement, Sherdog.com staff members and contributors weigh in on their most vivid memories, reflections and appraisals of Couture’s trials, triumphs and importance to MMA.

Cameron Conaway: In the history of combat sport, no athlete has defied age as consistently or on as large a scale as Randy Couture. There has been talk of how the UFC will replace him. It won’t. There will be talk of how his record will tarnish his impact. It can’t. Like any great artist, Randy leaves behind his body of work. We owe it to ourselves and to the future of MMA to remember it, share it and continue to use it for inspiration

Todd Martin: The fight that established Couture’s legacy to me was the first bout with Chuck Liddell. Liddell was riding the long winning streak, and Couture appeared to be a spent force. When Couture turned the tables on Liddell with a shockingly dominant win, it taught the MMA world that Couture could never be counted out. That theme defined the rest of his career.

Rob Fitzpatrick: I remember the raucous laughter as we watched him control “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy,” taking him down several pegs with their bout at UFC 44. Randy always had such class and pride, win or lose -- a man who, at his age, didn’t have to prove anything, but did it anyway. To this day, my mother, back home in the UK, only knows Randy in MMA. “Such a nice man,” she would say, “if it wasn’t for those ears!”

Chris Nelson: Even as countless others copped his dirty-boxing, wrestle-grinding style through the years, one thing became apparent: we’ll never see another fighter quite like Randy Couture. His pure talent and physical ability, his accomplishments and particularly his longevity in the sport combined to form a career which, while never flashy or ostentatious, was nonetheless magnificent. Of the 30 fights Couture leaves us with, it’s almost impossible to isolate a single great moment, but I’ll say this: my heart has never pounded while watching one person try to hold another down for 25 minutes as it did when “The Natural” came out of retirement to beat Tim Sylvia for his third UFC heavyweight title.

Freddie DeFreitas: When I first came aboard at Sherdog.com, I had the pleasurable task of creating many of the fighter highlight videos the site had become widely been known for hosting. When it finally came time for Randy’s turn to be immortalized on the Web, Joe Rogan was busy singing the praises of our beloved “Captain America,” so naturally, we ran with it. Couture’s film was the first to feature a hand-drawn comic in the vein of the Marvel superhero -- and last to ever grace the pages of Sherdog.com.

Jason Probst: There will never be another Randy Couture, which makes his departure from the sport all the more meaningful. Randy wasn’t just a longshot entry into the game; he was a 34-year-old wrestler when he faced the then-unbeaten Vitor Belfort in 1997. He was pretty much seen as fodder and dumped that premise on its head, along with Belfort, in a great fight. In addition to popularizing the effective techniques of dirty boxing, Couture also inspired in ways that made his fights can’t-miss propositions. Throw in his masterful showings against Tim Sylvia and Gabriel Gonzaga and a very credible performance in defeat against a much bigger Brock Lesnar, and that pretty much defines Couture. Like George Foreman did in boxing, he probably will inspire a lot of people to keep going well into their 40s, though it’s doubtful a fraction can accomplish what he did.

Ryan O’Leary: I thought Couture’s coming out of retirement to fight Tim Sylvia was a bad idea, a desperate and money-grabbing opportunity for the UFC and Randy. “The Natural” did look sharp in “Pros vs. Joes” versus former high-school jocks, but coming off a knockout loss to “The Iceman” at light heavyweight didn’t seem like the proper stepping stone to a heavyweight title shot a year later. Prepared for a Couture beatdown, I have never jumped off the couch so fast or high as when Randy dropped the giant with his big right hand. When the wrestler took Sylvia’s back shortly after, it just reminded me again that there are no scripts in MMA and anything is possible, especially when “Captain America” is fighting.

Lutfi Sariahmed: Couture’s legacy is twofold. One part of this is about what he did in the cage. It’s about his stepping up as an underdog time and again. It’s about his trilogy with Liddell and beyond. But it’s also about what Couture did outside of the cage. The impact he made outside the cage has yet to be truly felt. He’s the first fighter to really march to his own drum, going so far as to challenge the UFC to become more independent as a fighter. His rise outside of the cage has helped and will only continue to help the development of fighters as individual brands, as opposed to just pieces underneath the Zuffa banner. For all Couture has done in the cage, it may be what he ends up doing outside the cage for other fighters that could be his biggest accomplishment.

Chris Foster: A 40-year-old just taking on fighters such as Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell and Vitor Belfort is amazing. Beating them is what made him a legend. Many times I picked against him in a fight, only to be proven wrong once again. He’s a genuinely great guy with a huge heart and well-respected. Legends never die.

Jack Encarnacao: Randy Couture’s win over Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 was the most dramatic one-sided fight I’ve ever seen. I watched it in a bar-stroke-arcade. People truly came unglued when Couture slugged the heavyweight champ to the mat in the first exchange and were counting down aloud the final seconds of the fight. It’s easy to forget how badly people thought Sylvia was going to hurt Couture in that fight. But just as the film “Rocky Balboa” hit theatres, Couture was Sylvester Stallone-esque in coming out of retirement to replicate his most dominant performance against Chuck Liddell in 2003. He completely silenced those who declared him shopworn, and his first post-fight remark -- “Not bad for an old man” -- is impossible to forget.

J.R. Riddell: What I find most memorable about Randy’s career is the willingness and desire he displayed in taking fights that presented him with obstacles and challenges. Many fighters claim that they want to challenge themselves, but who can argue that Randy didn’t epitomize that notion throughout his fight career? He chose to close out his career with a fight that presented him with serious challenges. He knew that Lyoto Machida was lethal, and his last battle was fueled by the desire to solve the Machida puzzle. As if his record of opponents wasn’t enough, the man has a work ethic that puts fighters half his age to shame. Finally, I would be remiss in not calling out my respect for this warrior as a fellow veteran. Before becoming known as “Captain America,” Randy spent six years as a member of the 101st Airborne Division. Bravo on a successful career as a warrior, and I’ll look forward to watching you perform your roles as an actor and fighters advocate.

Tristen Critchfield: To me, Randy Couture was mixed martial arts’ most marketable hero -- sort of a John Wayne meets Rocky Balboa come to life in the Octagon. While he didn’t always win, “The Natural” was never afraid to challenge the odds. Whether it was facing the giants (Tim Sylvia and Brock Lesnar), attempting to solve a Rubik’s Cube (Lyoto Machida) or simply sending a message (James Toney and Tito Ortiz), Couture always did what he did with dignity and professionalism. His 19-11 record isn’t the stuff of legend, but his impact on the sport transcends wins and losses. In retirement, I expect more of the same, with Couture serving as MMA’s ultimate ambassador, all while eventually making 50 look like the new 30.

Wojek Rysiewski: Randy Couture had many great moments in his 14-year career, from his upset victory over a young Vitor Belfort and five-round war with Pedro Rizzo to his memorable trilogy with Chuck Liddell. However, what impressed me the most was his 2007 heavyweight run. At 43-years old, a natural light heavyweight was able to completely dominate two Top 5 heavyweights and claim the number two spot in the world. By beating Sylvia and Gonzaga, Couture defied the casual perception that size is the essential aspect of the sport and proved that technique, speed and intelligence are equally, if not more, important.

Bobbie Clark: The most impressive thing about Randy Couture's career isn’t his longevity, masterful game plans or intense training regimen. It’s his mastery of the Jedi mind trick. Time and time again, he fooled the general public into making him the underdog. It started with Vitor Belfort at UFC 15 and ended with Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 74. Along the way, he employed this ancient art to make it seem like he was a few steps behind in fights against Pedro Rizzo, Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell and Tim Sylvia, when he was actually several steps ahead. Randy Couture is the Yoda of MMA. I only hope he has found a worthy Padawan to pass along this tremendous gift.

Joe Zigler: No one gave Couture a chance against Vitor Belfort or Tim Sylvia. Couture’s wrestling and limited experience were not going to be enough to match the natural talents and explosiveness of “The Phenom,” and he was too old and one dimensional to fight against the size and power of “The Maine-iac.” In both cases, Couture came out and did what he became known for. He proved everyone wrong. He was not supposed to get the better of Belfort on the feet boxing in the clinch, and he wasn’t supposed to drop Sylvia with his first punch. And he certainly wasn’t supposed to compete professionally until he was 47 years old. But he did all three. Couture kept us guessing, he kept us excited and he will forever stand as a legend of the sport.

Traci Ratzloff: I will never forget my first interview with Randy Couture, almost a decade ago. I was so green and very nervous. Randy took time out of his very busy schedule, on Valentine’s Day no less, to speak with me over the phone for nearly an hour. His gentle way helped a very young journalist relax and get her job done. I will forever appreciate his sincerity, as well as the level of athleticism and good sportsmanship he brought to the fight game.

Joe Ortiz: While Couture proved me wrong on a number of occasions, the only one that truly stood out as remarkable to me was his heavyweight title bout with Tim Sylvia. I remember having a couple of friends over for the event, both of them casual fans who knew who Randy was and what he had accomplished. They ultimately deferred to me when I told them he was too old and too small to stand much chance against the gigantic UFC champion. Within seconds of the opening bell, I was made to look utterly foolish, as Couture sent Sylvia crashing to the mat. My friends and I were too busy screaming our heads off to care either way. We remained awed by the performance through the entirety of the 25-minute bout and for the rest of the night, as well, as we went to the local watering hole to share drinks and reflect on what an old badass Randy Couture was.

Brian Knapp: Couture never took the easy way out. That tells you all you need to know about the man. Never was that more evident than in his final appearance, when he took on Lyoto Machida -- a brilliant former champion in his prime. At 47, Couture could have bid farewell against a far less dangerous opponent. Instead, he went out on his shield. The MMA world can ask nothing more of its heroes. The fighters who comprise the next generation would be wise to follow in Couture’s footsteps.

Daniel Archuleta: I have clear memories of Randy Couture that pop into my head when I hear the icon’s name. One came at UFC 44 against Tito Ortiz, who at the time was my favorite fighter. Late in the fifth and final round, Ortiz scrambled from underneath Randy and maneuvered for a leg lock. “Captain America” braced himself against the cage for leverage and showed the crowd and referee “Big” John McCarthy that he was in no danger by literally spanking Ortiz on the behind, much like he had done during the entire fight. The theme of the pre-fight hoopla was about the young gun Oritz, out to retire the old lion Couture. How fitting the fight ended with Couture dominating the fight and leaving Ortiz with a memory of a father putting his arrogant son in his place.

Mick Bower: At UFC 70, the boys and girls came out of the cupboard to pack the M.E.N. Arena for the UFC’s European return. A few celebs get flashed on the big screen and are greeted with a ripple of applause; then Randy’s face comes up. He is over on ambassadorial duties and suited up cageside. As one, the crowd stands and goes nuts. A wave of goodwill laps around the hall. This is by far the largest gathering of MMA fans in the UK. For years, we lived on a subsistence diet of domestic small hall offerings and traded VHS tapes. The giant tanned face of Randy beams back at his children like a benevolent god. The perfect moment is broken when a chant of “Randy! Randy!” breaks out. The sight of thousands of my countrymen yelling “randy” in unison (randy: British slang adjective meaning sexually excited or aroused) changes the mood from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Rodolfo Roman: Randy Couture exemplifies the heart of a champion. He is the perfect role model for an upcoming mixed martial artist or Average Joe. Despite any obstacle or outcome, Couture always steps inside the Octagon ready to perform to a maximum level.

John Evans: There is temptation to recount my most vivid Randy Couture moment as occurring in the Port Columbus International Airport at 7:23 a.m. on March 4, 2007. It involved some warm Diet Rockstar, a screaming geek from Iowa still wearing his press pass and the irony of Jeff Monson’s near-saintly patience with the Continental Airlines counter staff. However, there’s a reason why Randy Couture went on from the stigma of an Olympic alternate to become arguably the most revered figure in MMA today, and that reason has a lot to do with the universally euphoric atmosphere I witnessed that March morning four years ago. The next chapter in the story of Randy Couture might not be written in the cage, but it’s going to be a good one. We’ll be doing this again.

Mike Fridley: Couture shares a legacy with an elite and far more exclusive group than his hall of fame or championship credentials are able to boast. Nolan Ryan, George Blanda, Archie Moore, George Foreman and Randy Couture: athletes that peaked professionally years after their peers had faded away from active competition. Someday, when your grandchildren see highlights of Jack Nicklaus taming Augusta in his mid-40s, don’t forget to remind those young whippersnappers that their grandpappy saw “The Natural” perform superior feats in the Octagon’s early days.

Joe Myers: When I think of Randy Couture, his nickname of “Captain America” is the first thing that comes to mind. To a lot of fans of mixed martial arts, myself included, he was just that: a larger-than-life superhero who would defy the odds time after time and prevail in the end. Couture fought at a high level long past the time when most fighters have hung up their gloves, and the best way I can sum up my feelings about “The Natural” is to take a page from Joe Rogan’s quote book: “That guy is my hero.”

Sam Genovese: In the moments before Lyoto Machida channeled his inner-Steven Seagal to flatten Randy Couture for -- hopefully -- the last time, I was nervous. But as I watched Machida’s foot turn Randy’s lights out, I felt a sense of relief. I felt relieved because the knockout was a moment I never really wanted to come, but when it did, it was not as painful as I thought it would be. I had seen Randy get knocked out before and I had seen Randy pick himself up off the canvas and continue on. I reminded myself that Randy would, once more, pick himself up off the canvas and continue on. I thought to myself, the knockout did not kill Randy. It merely sent him on his way.

TJ De Santis: Upon returning home after Couture’s UFC 49 win over Vitor Belfort, I was fortunate to do an interview with Couture -- in transit -- with my co-hosts Caleb Quinn and Mike Reilly for InsideFighting.com’s “MMA Evolution.” During the interview, we could hear sirens, but we kept going. It was clear that the driver of the car was being pulled over. I could hear the officer asking the driver questions. When we asked Randy what was the matter, he responded, “There is apparently a problem with the tint of my friend’s windows.” When he said that, the officer must have noticed that Randy was on the phone and said something along the lines of, “Sir, you need to hang up the phone.” Randy kindly responded with, “I’m sorry officer. I’m doing a radio interview.” I don’t know if the patrolman recognized Randy or if it was just the Couture smile and charm that made the difference.

Tony Loiseleur: I was folding my laundry and watching UFC 44 a few days after it happened. Hearing Mike Goldberg’s and Joe Rogan’s genuine excitement for this old guy's round-by-round domination of Tito Ortiz, a guy that my grappling teacher claimed months earlier was the most dominant and “bad ass” champion in the world, made me stop doing the laundry. The takedowns, the dirty boxing and the incredible positional dominance were one thing, but the spanking Grandpa Couture gave Ortiz in the final moments sealed it for me. By the time the fight was over, Rogan summed up my own feeling best by saying, “That guy is my hero.” And he was. Randy Couture made me care about wrestling, about cages and about MMA in a different way. For someone who now works in and studies MMA for a living, that’s no small feat.

Mike Whitman: As a youngster, I was a big pro wrestling fan. Upon watching UFC 13 for the first time, I instantly recognized the Finnish hulk standing across from Couture as Ludwig Borga -- a real mean cat from the WWF who liked to jump off the top rope and decapitate people with his tree-trunk thighs. Borga -- whose real name was Tony Halme -- dwarfed Couture. Add to this the promo that Halme cut leading up to the fight wherein he discussed pulling off each of Couture’s limbs, and I honestly wasn’t sure what would happen when “Big” John McCarthy told them to get it on. Couture hit a double-leg instantly, and it became clear that it was all over. With Halme on his back, Couture landed some ground-and-pound before calmly transitioning to the back and sinking a rear-naked choke. Maybe I like to look at it through rose-colored glass, but to this day, I still think that was the fastest double-leg I’ve ever seen. Though Couture would go on to become a five-time champion and hall of famer, his first fight is still the most special to me.

Tracey Lesetar: The next time you watch Jet Li’s 2003 film “Cradle 2 the Grave,” make sure to look for Randy Couture in the cagefighting scene. He is credited as “Fighter #8.” For a moment in film history, he was cutting his teeth as an on-screen MMA henchman. And this is how I will remember Randy Couture; not just as a bellwether fighter in the MMA industry but truly a jack of all trades and someone who was always reinventing himself. From his military career in the 1980s to being an alternate on the U.S. Olympic wrestling team and becoming a fledgling action star, “The Natural” has shown us many faces. And as the industry has evolved, we have most often found him at the helm, aging and yet still defeating the many younger fighters that were thrown at him. Now, at 47 years old, he has the most UFC title reigns of anyone in the sport and was the first man to hold UFC championship titles in two different weight divisions. An entrepreneur, coach, champion and father, there is very little that Randy Couture hasn’t done. He is a unique brand of sportsman that comes along once or twice in a generation.

Mike Sloan: There is one moment of his career that sticks out more than the rest, and it came after he was battered and stopped by Josh Barnett back at UFC 36. At the post-fight press conference, Couture was so genuine and classy in defeat. He made no excuses and explained exactly why he lost. He said he made a mistake and Josh took advantage; Barnett was the better man that night. While he spoke, Couture was obviously disappointed that he lost his UFC heavyweight title, but he appeared genuinely happy for Barnett to have become the UFC champion. Couture heaped a mountain of praise onto Barnett and said, “If it’s time for me to pass the torch onto to a younger fighter, I’m happy to be giving it to a man like Josh Barnett. He deserves it, and I’m sure he’ll carry on the tradition of being a great champion for a long time” -- or something along those lines. Never in my life have I ever witnessed a man take defeat with such class, and right there, I knew that Couture, whether he would win another title or not, was a one of a kind fighter and man. His attitude after that loss spoke volumes of the type of legend he’d eventually become.

Greg Savage: Couture was one of the first big stars of our sport, and his persona has grown so much since that May night in 1997 when he made his MMA debut as a spry 33-year-old. This was about a year or so before I started covering the sport as a journalist, and I was little more than a casual observer when he took to the cage against Tony Halme. The big group of friends that had gathered to watch UFC 13 were there to see local favorite David “Tank” Abbott fight young phenom Vitor Belfort, but it was “Randy from Oregon” who we all ended up rooting for. He looked like he jumped off a logging truck right into the Octagon. Couture was relentless in his attack and notched a pair of wins to take home the UFC’s heavyweight tournament championship. That same group of friends was on hand five months later when “Randy from Oregon” jumped back into the cage to face Belfort, who was 1997’s equivalent of Jon Jones -- the unbeatable uber-champion. Couture grinded him into pebbles and secured a title shot against heavyweight champion Maurice Smith. And, in typical Couture fashion, he battled Smith tooth and nail and earned a majority decision and his first of six UFC titles. Little did I know that spring night that nearly 14 years later he would retire from the sport as one of the most accomplished and well-loved competitors to have ever graced MMA’s stage.

Jordan Breen: It is unfair to sum up Randy Couture in a paragraph. His fingerprints are everywhere in MMA. He taught us to reconsider the impact of age in prizefighting and sports. He shed light on the efficacy of clinch work and dirty boxing. In a sport where “We’re gonna stand and bang” still passes for preparation, Couture brought true depth to tactics, strategy and game planning in MMA. He became a quintessential ambassador for a sport desperate for one. He helped entrench the “anything can happen” ethos of the MMA community with repeated upset performances and remains a standard for multi-divisional success. His first bout with Pedro Rizzo established the gold standard for five-round wars. He even usurped the Bible itself in his ability to popularize the adage “iron sharpens iron.” And yet, he was hardly a lawfully good superhero: he butted heads with Zuffa and the UFC in a way no star ever has publicly, left RAW Team and Team Quest on less-than-ideal terms, had a string of high-profile failed marriages and held on to his career too long for many people’s liking. He’s a complicated and difficult character study, and it is no surprise given how deeply he’s embedded in modern MMA’s DNA.

Source: Sherdog


Enson Inoue’s Efforts To Help Japan

If you did not have the chance to attend Enson and Egan Inoue’s fundraiser for Japan, there is another way you can help his efforts. Before you do anything else, please watch Enson’s Yamato Damashii’s Diaries on MMA Fighting.com. Click on the link below:


Enson documents his travels to tremendously damaged cities in Japan where he helps by buying food, shoes, and other items for the people in those cities. He really takes you to another level by providing an intimate view of the children and people still in shelters and the unbelievable damage that is still there. He is funding the majority of the supplies out of his own pocket. After watching this you can’t help but feel the need to jump in do whatever you can to help. Enson has been personally designing bracelets, rosaries and other custom items and using the proceeds to help the people of Japan.

Please take the time to check out this site because there is a lot of very unique items on it. You can pick up a unique piece of jewelry and provide much needed help to the devastated people of Japan.


Source: MMA Fighting

Scrapplers Fest Jiu Jitsu Tournament
Island School, Puhi, Kauai
(Right behind Kauai Community College)
Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kids weights and brackets will be made that morning to make fairest match ups!

White, Blue belts and Beginner no gi (3 years and under) 131-under, 132-145, 146-159, 160-173, 174-187, 188-201, 202-215, 216-above

Purple-above belts and Advanced no gi (+3years)

159-below, 160-180, 181-201, 202-above

Also having a 36 year old and above class for gi white belts and blue belts!

***Not advertised but Relson Gracie students get an additional $10 off entry fees.***

Pre-Register by May 20th and pay

Entry fees on May 21st

Men can add 36-above division to Men division only $10 more! Or just compete in that division for the Men price

Weigh ins at Scrappa Lifestylez store in Hanamaulu next to the post office from 5pm-9pm on Friday May 20th.

Also, tournament day weigh ins kids/adults till 9am!! And I mean 9am!

Kids start at 10am
Adults start at 1230pm

Make sure competitors are there at tournament site at least 1 1/2 hours before estimated times.

There will be no food allowed in the gym. There will also be food and drinks available there.

Also no smoking on school grounds, and no one allowed on the school playgrounds.

Spectators- $5 for kids and $7 for adults.

Competitors will receive competitor shirts while their size last!

Source: Pono Pananganan

ADCC announces Zé Mario vs. Renzo and Royler vs. Bravo

The 2011 ADCC, coming up September in England, truly intends to return to be the charming No-Gi tournament of old. Despite slipping up before – notably in 2007 in New Jersey –, the championship founded by Sheikh Tanoon looks good to go off in 2011.

The demonstration of force came in the wee hours today, with earth shaking announcements made over Facebook: Zé Mario Sperry will take on Renzo Gracie, while Royler Gracie will rematch Eddie Bravo.

Well known from his days fighting in Pride FC, Zé Mario has been training at the academy of an old teammate of Renzo’s, Roberto Gordo. The Carlson Gracie student won the 1998 and 1999 installments of the ADCC and won the absolute category at the World Championship in 1998; while Renzo, another Pride FC star, now in the UFC, won the No-Gi tournament in 1998 and 2000 and was the champion of a 1993 “prototype” for the Brazilian Nationals. How much weight will separate the two athletes? We’ll let you know shortly.

Now Renzo’s cousin, three-time ADCC champion Royler, will face off with Eddie Bravo. The encounter has been the subject of a lot of talk over the years, ever since the American’s unexpected win in São Paulo at the excitement-packed ADCC 2003 event. Eddie submitted Royler with a triangle, after which he lost to Léo Vieira and then did not make it to the third-place match.

Source: Gracie Magazine

Royler: “Lightning never strikes twice, nor kills the same horse”
by Marcelo Dunlop

This Wednesday in California Royler’s telephone was ringing off the hook. “What a bomb, huh?” said the black belt with a laugh, when he picked up a call from GRACIEMAG.com.

The subject was, of course, the September ADCC tournament in England and Royler’s supermatch against Eddie Bravo, the only man to ever submit him in no-gi grappling, with a triangle that came out of left field in the quarterfinals at ADCC 2003, in São Paulo. Eddie’s next match saw him lose to Léo Vieira by 15 to 0.

In another supermatch, Renzo Gracie will face Zé Mario Sperry. Now the ADCC superchampion-deciding bout is between Bráulio Estima (2009's absolute champion) and Ronaldo Jacaré (winner of 2009 superfight).

“Even though he beat me, every now and again I catch word that Eddie Bravo wants to go again,” said Royler. Perhaps Bravo wants a sequel to prove it was no fluke. “So I’ll let him have a rematch,” said the Gracie, jokingly.

The match contract hasn’t been signed, but to Royler it’s a done deal: “I spoke with Renzo yesterday and the folks in Abu Dhabi really want to put together these two matchups, so I feel it will go through. I’ve never been out of shape, but it’s always nice to have a good reason to train hard; it’s a match a lot of folks have been asking for and one I’d like to do too.”

“I didn’t talk to Renzo about his plans for training, but we’ll discuss it; Renzo’s really strong right now, has been doing those grueling training sessions he likes so much, so I don’t think he’ll have too much difficulty, even if Zé Mario may be heavier. Renzo is always charged up, always putting himself to the test, so Zé Mario had best show up well trained, otherwise he’ll be biting off more than he can chew,” said Royler with excitement.

Now about his match with Bravo, might Royler fear having another lapse and getting blindsided with another submission? Royler was quick to respond: “Lightning never strikes twice in the same place, nor kills the same horse.”

Before bidding farewell, Royler commented on Royce’s return to the UFC. “I don’t know of any news; what we spoke about in Toronto was a potential matchup between Royce and Matt Hughes, but as Matt signed to fight Diego Sanchez, the idea was put on the back burner. As far as I know, he won’t be fighting in Rio,” the Gracie said in closing.

Source: Gracie Magazine

Bellator 44 Preview: The Rundown
By Ray Hui

Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard in action, and Patricky "Pitbull" Freire vs. Michael Chandler in the finals of the lightweight tournament, are the anchors for this Saturday's Bellator 44 in Atlantic City.

With two episodes remaining, the season four tournaments are winding down while other bouts are potential qualifiers for next season's tournaments in September.

After the jump, let's take a look at five of the storylines heading into Bellator 44.

The Best Middleweight Outside of Zuffa?
Hector Lombard (28-2-1) could very well be the best 185-pounder not under contract with the UFC or Strikeforce, which means Lombard, along with lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, will continue to be talked about as "what ifs" as they stand as Bellator champions outside of the UFC looking in.

Especially with Lombard, we don't know how he stacks up since his biggest wins in recent years have been against UFC castaways and there's no change here as he heads into a non-title showdown against the past-his-prime Falaniko Vitale.

All we know for the most part is that he's blowing past lesser competition in convincing fashion. The American Top Team fighter clearly possesses the tools, but once again, we're back to enjoying Lombard's performances for what they are, exciting showings, and not necessarily indicators of where he rests in the world middleweight standings.

Hawaiian Connection
If there's ever a Hall of Fame for Hawaiian MMA,
Falaniko Vitale (29-9) is a candidate, if not a shoe-in. Vitale is approaching his eleventh year in MMA competition and has been a major face in the local scene, headlining the old SuperBrawl events and later IconSport. He's had stints with UFC and Strikeforce and holds wins over Yushin Okami, Dave Menne and Matt Lindland (though the win over Lindland was from Lindland knocking himself out). On Saturday, Vitale is looking at what could be his last moment in the national spotlight in this nothing to lose and everything to gain fight against Lombard.

Winner Gets Eddie
Bellator's third lightweight tournament will come to an end with Patricky "Pitbull" Freire (9-1) meeting Michael Chandler (7-0) for a chance to challenge Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title at a later date and the $100,000 grand prize. Currently out of Xtreme Couture, Chandler, a former collegiate wrestling teammate of Strikeforce up-and-comer Tyron Woodley, has two wins with Strikeforce and four under the Bellator banner. Freire joined Bellator this season, quickly elevating himself within the promotion with (T)KO wins over "Razor" Rob McCullough and Toby Imada.

Season Five Tournament Spots
Besides being the selling point of the promotion, tournaments have been great for fighters trying to put their name on the map and a fighter's stock can be raised even in elimination (as Toby Imada has done with a string of submissions). Next season's bantamweight and welterweight tournaments in particular are shaping up to be ones to watch.

Already slotted for the 135-lb. tournament are Bellator 145-lb. champ Joe Warren, former WEC champ Chase Beebe, Brazilian prospect Luis Alberto Nogueira, Shooto South American champ Eduardo Dantas and for a spot Saturday is WEC vet Anthony Morrison vs. risk-taker Bryan Goldsby.

Though non-televised, Eddie Alvarez's training partner Sam Oropeza faces a Giedrius Karavackas in a welterweight duel for a potential spot in next season's tournament, expected to feature the newly signed prospect, Douglas Lima.

Meanwhile on the main card, the winner of Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brett Cooper will join next season's middleweight tournament.

Two More to Go
Season four of Bellator saw the promotion begin its three-year deal with MTV2. While ratings haven't been exactly stellar, averaging 184,000 viewers per event, the promotion finally went live and at a consistent time.

After Saturday's event, the season finale of Bellator will take place the following week on May 21 in Lake Charles, La., closing out with Patricio "Freire" vs. Daniel Straus in the featherweight final and Richard Hale vs. Christian M'Pumbu in the light heavyweight final.

Bellator 44 Fight Card:

MTV 2 Bouts
Hector Lombard (28-2-1) vs.
Falaniko Vitale (29-9)
Michael Chandler (7-0) vs. Patricky Pitbull (9-1)
Alexander Shlemenko (38-7) vs. Brett Cooper (12-5)
Anthony Morrison (17-10) vs. Bryan Goldsby (15-13)

Preliminary Bouts
Sam Oropeza (4-1) vs. Giedrius Karavackas (4-1)
Jamall Johnson (2-1) vs. Randy Smith (11-8-1)
Jay Silva (6-4) vs. Gemiyale Adkins (6-1)
Jeff Lentz (6-3) vs. Anthony Leone (8-2)

Source: MMA Fighting

Cordeiro: No Miracles, But Shogun Will Improve
by Gleidson Venga

Few men know Mauricio “Shogun” Rua as well as Rafael Cordeiro. Now that he has his star pupil back in the fold at Kings MMA in California, Cordeiro has set out to shore up the holes that were present in Rua’s one-sided defeat to Jon Jones at UFC 128 in March.

“He entered the academy with his head held high, as a champion who was looking for the path to regaining his title,” Cordeiro told Sherdog.com. “The training here will make him stronger, but we’re not a miracle house. We don’t do miracles. This is a place where he’ll work hard, a place where he’ll make sure he’ll never again fight like he did against Jones. That’s the only guarantee we gave him.”

After 10 days of hard work, Shogun plans to head home to organize matters before returning to the United States in the middle of the month. Cordeiro vowed to help Rua evolve for his rematch against Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 on Aug. 27 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Conversations to bring Rua to Kings MMA, according to Cordeiro, began long ago and picked up steam before he surrendered the light heavyweight title to Jones at UFC 128.

“We’ve been talking a long time about him joining Kings MMA. We talked before the Jon Jones fight, but some family issues prevented him from coming to the U.S.,” Cordeiro said. “Right after UFC 128, Shogun decided to join us, and he has already looked for places to live with his family, car, stuff like that to spend the two and a half months of the camp.

“It was easy to convince him because of our friendship and affection,” he added.

“I was his coach from the time he was a white belt until he was a black belt. No one knows him as I do, and I can say there is a lot we can add here to improve on his game.”

Colin Foster contributed to this report.

Source: Sherdog

UFC 130: Jorge Santiago is Back for Some Unfinished Business
by Erik Fontanez

For Jorge Santiago, it’s the second time around in the UFC when he makes his return to the organization for the first time in five years at UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill. He will square off against Brian Stann in Las Vegas.

The former American Top Team fighter spent time away from the UFC to hone his craft in different places and with different faces. In doing so, he’s set himself up to compete with a new and restructured UFC; one that he views as different from the UFC he knew during his first tenure.
All along, however, Santiago knew he’d be back in the UFC. No matter how far the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt traveled, and no matter what drew his focus away since his departure from the Zuffa-owned company, Jorge Santiago always knew he’d be back.

Now, with a new team in Florida that includes Rashad Evans as a training partner, Santiago has returned to take care of some unfinished business.

“I left (the) UFC in 2006,” Santiago told MMAWeekly Radio Weekend Edition. “I went to Japan, (got) more experience fighting different guys. I always knew, one day, (I would get) back to the UFC and finish the job I was doing there.”

For those who don’t know who Jorge Santiago is, do a quick Google search and you’ll find out that the guy is the textbook definition of a veteran. Not only has he fought in the UFC, but stints in Strikeforce, King of the Cage and the now-defunct Bodog Fight are written on Santiago’s resume as promotions he has fought for previously.

Most recently, Santiago fought for Sengoku and successfully defended the promotion’s middleweight title with a victory over Kazuo Misaki. During his time with Sengoku, Santiago amassed a 7-1 record, spanning over two years. His only loss came against Mamid Khalidov, whom he defeated in a rematch just five months later.

Wins for Santiago have come in all types; a mix of finishes. Defining his style is difficult, even if coming straight from the horse’s mouth. He’ll try to explain it, but it all just comes down to one thing: being a versatile fighter.

“It’s kind of hard to explain my style,” he said. “I’m a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, but the past few years, I learned a lot of kickboxing and different kinds of martial arts. So, it’s kind of (difficult) to say how (my fight is going to be) and how I’m going to finish my fight. If you see my record, you’re going to see knockouts and submissions and TKOs. I consider myself a mixed martial artist. I fight everywhere.

“I just try to take the chance and finish the fight. That’s what I like.”

When thinking about his fight with Brian Stann, Santiago likes his chances. He considers himself a fighter that enjoys a good tradeoff of strikes, and with Stann, he’s confident that he’ll get the opportunity to do just that.

He holds a certain amount of respect for the damage the former WEC light heavyweight champion can inflict with a single strike, but feels this fits his style as well as the right piece to a puzzle.
“I think he has a lot of power,” Santiago said about Stann, his UFC 130 opponent. “My game matches very well when I fight with guys who like to come and bang.”

With standing and banging on the mind, Santiago proclaims he will surely look for the finish come May 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

“One thing I know for sure, this fight is not going to end (in) decision. This fight is going to end in about the second round or first round. That is (the truth). If not, my fans need to know, I always fight to finish the fight. No matter how and when, even the fifth round; the second, like, my last fight. And Brian Stann likes the same thing, so, that’ll be fun. You cannot blink.”

Source: MMA Weekly

UFC 130 card (5/28 MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas)
By Zach Arnold

Dark matches/Spike TV bouts

Bantamweights: Chris Cariaso vs. Michael McDonald (filling in for Kid Yamamoto)
Lightweights: Cody McKenzie vs. Bart Palaszewski
Middleweights: Kendall Grove vs. Tim Boetsch
Bantamweights: Renan Barao vs. Cole Escovedo
Bantamweights: Miguel Torres vs. Demetrious Johnson
Welterweights: Thiago Alves vs. Rick Story
Main card

Middleweights: Brian Stann vs. Jorge Santiago
Heavyweights: Stefan Struve vs. Travis Browne
Heavyweights: Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson
Light Heavyweights: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Matt Hamill

Source: Fight Opinion

Shane Carwin Quickly Accepts Opportunity to Put Himself Back in Contention
by Ken Pishna

It is sometimes odd how the winds of change alter life.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar felt the cold wisp of the wind on Thursday as he had to drop out of his proposed number one contenders bout with Junior dos Santos at UFC 131 in June. Lesnar is again battling diverticulitis.

He’ll have some tough medical decisions to make in the coming days, weeks, and months, but he has declared he’s not giving in without a fight, and plans to one day return to the Octagon.
Stepping in for him at UFC 131 in Vancouver is former UFC interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin.

“Junior is a serious fight and not the type of fight that you would normally take on a 30 day notice, but I have a dream to chase and I do not have a lot of time to chase it,” Carwin wrote on his web site on Thursday. “This is an opportunity to put myself in contention for the title. I know my coaches will have me ready so I have everything to gain.”

Jason Genet, Carwin’s manager, told MMAWeekly.com that, just as it would have been for Lesnar, a win by Carwin will earn him a shot at current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.

Carwin has had to undergo his own battle, although not life threatening like Lesnar’s, dealing with a problem called lactic acidosis. It’s a condition that caused his body to basically start to shut down during his fight with Lesnar at UFC 116 last summer.

Carwin has been working for months to make sure the problem doesn’t recur, and believes he has it under control. He was already on the card for UFC 131, expecting to take on Octagon newcomer Jon Olav Einemo.

UFC president Dana White said on Thursday that they haven’t yet addressed a new opponent for Einemo.

“My manager said, ‘This is where you belong,’” Carwin wrote, “and I am going to make sure I do everything I can to prove him right.”

“I hope Brock is able to recover,” he added. “I look forward to facing him again one day.”
(Additional reporting by Damon Martin)

Source: MMA Weekly

Zuffa’s Twitter policy is a matter of playing with fire
By Zach Arnold

When the news broke yesterday that Zuffa (UFC/Strikeforce) would start giving out bonuses to fighters if they increase their social media footprint, my initial reaction was a mixed one. Then I thought about ESPN’s infamous Twitter policy and how derided it was by various sports writers/bloggers.

After further review, I think Zuffa’s encouragement of fighters increasing their social media footprint has more negatives than positives.

I realize what the realpolitik is as far as Zuffa’s business calculation goes. Have a bunch of fighters go from being nobodies to somebodies and from somebodies to stars by using the tools at their disposal. And, should a fighter pull a Rashad Mendenhall or a Reggie Bush and say something stupid, you can cut them.

However, in order for that justification to work, you have to rely on the following. You have to admit to yourself that fighters, in a business full of testosterone, are willing & able to filter themselves before pushing the ’send’ button on a Tweet. You are relying on fighters to use their best judgment. In a business full of horrific examples of really bad judgment, that is a gamble. Second, let’s say a fighter says something really stupid and reprehensible. What if it costs UFC a sponsor or some sort of business deal? UFC can’t turn around and cut a guy while saying they have no responsibility in the matter because the fighter isn’t an employee. Well, by implementing this new social media policy, Zuffa is encouraging their fighters to use the power of the UFC/Strikeforce brands to build an online footprint. Lorenzo Fertitta always talks about how it’s most important to focus on brand-building as opposed to building certain individuals because fighters come and go quickly.

In order for Zuffa’s social media policy not to back fire, they have to hope that the status quo remains. That MMA remains a niche sport that’s popular but well enough below the mainstream media’s radar that, should a fighter say something that’s a slur or worse, anything negative flies under the radar. Remember what Marcus Davis said about Dan Hardy and HIV/AIDS? Fighters have a proclivity of saying really dumb things at times.

Predictions: A lot more fighters are going to say dumb things on Twitter that will cost them money as opposed to saying things that will make them money. (In other words, I expect more fighters to get cut because of the dumb remarks they say than those who get bonuses for increasing the amount of followers they have.)

Do I think Zuffa is dumb in the calculation they’ve made here? No, but it is a risk and you cannot deny it. I understand that Dana White says outrageous things all the time online and gets away with it. Furthermore, because he says the things he says, it’s almost as if people just get so immune to it that they tune it out as white noise whereas if another major sports figure had said the same remarks that he has in the past, they’d be in hot water. If I was a betting man, I wouldn’t bet on the ‘immunization logic’ as sound logic for the long haul.

People want MMA to get mainstream media coverage. There are others who love to get mainstream-level type of coverage without having to endure any sort of scrutiny. You have to be careful what you wish for. Look at some of the headlines lately being generated: UFC’s Chael Sonnen suspended in CA for perjury & money laundering , Matt Lindland getting sued over marijuana claims and now another lawsuit involving a fight over the Team Quest name with Dan Henderson, Matt Hughes allegedly getting into an altercation at a bar, and TMZ running with the headline of “you JACKED my brother’s remains!’

Don’t get me wrong — I think Zuffa’s intentions with this new social media policy are well-meaning. However, history and human nature in this industry suggest that the company is asking for trouble here.

Source: Fight Opinion

Rafael dos Anjos ready for a Jiu-Jitsu clash with Sotiropoulos
By Guilherme Cruz

The BJJ black belt Rafael dos Anjos is glad to be chosen to fight in UFC 132, especially since he’s fighting a guy who likes to do the ground game, George Sotiropoulos. On an exclusive interview with TATAME, the novice of Roberto Gordo analyzed the bout and affirmed to be go and to prove he’s better on the gentle art, talked about his healing process after a jaw surgery and analyzed the busy lightweight division, believing that Gilbert Melendez, Strikeforce’s champion on the same weight class, couldn’t keep the same success against UFC fighters.

How are the trainings on your return to UFC?

The trains are hard, I’m training for three months now. I was guessing I would have a bout scheduled around July, August… I’ve been training hard for a while, and now I just have to train harder and then slow it down a month before the bout.

How was the healing process of your jaw surgery?

It was pretty complicated, man. I’ve been through much, but with God’s help everything finally worked out, I’m fully recovered and I’m confident. My chin’s harder than before.

What do you hope of this bout with Sotoropoulos, who’s a tough guy on the ground, like you are?

I guess that all of us who hold a black belt on our waist enjoy fighting on the ground. Until today, all my opponents in UFC tried to escape from the ground game, so I’m thrilled because I’ll fight a guy who’ll like to go there and fight me, like he does in all his fights. I’ve been training Jiu-Jitsu a lot with my master Gordo, training a lot with the guys at Evolve’s gym, and I believe I have all weapons in my hand to win this fight and comeback even better… Coming back beating up a respected name on the event will be a great deal for me.

The only guy who didn’t try to run away from fighting you on the gorund was Terry Etim, who was then submitted…

Yeah, that’s true… He has a good guillotine choke, but I was better that day.

What did you think of Sotoripoulos last bout, on which he was defeated by Dennis Siver? Could you see some holes on his game?

He knows good Jiu-Jitsu, he has a good conditioning and good Boxing skills. He doesn’t use his legs to kick much… His Wrestling ain’t that good either, so I have to work harder on that part, focus on his flaws and train it really hard.

All Brazilian fighters wanted fight in UFC Rio. Were you upset to be left off this event’s card?

No. I’m in UFC 132. What I wanted was to fight. The way I think, it’s not that I’m off UFC Rio, but I’m in another event. I wasn’t upset, I wasn’t anything. I’m just thrilled to fight again.

There would be a title fight between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, but both athletes got injured… Do you think it’ll make the division even busier, since it already was the most crowded weight class in UFC?

Yeah, man. It did. The guys had that rematch, their third fight… So I guess it’s busier now, and I’ll take longer now for the guys who are there, on the line for a title shot, but that’s good too. There’s too many people on this weight division, there’re many hired guys who UFC will be able to test, there’re the guys who came from WEC. So that delay for the belt dispute will have UFC plenty time to test other guys… I guess they’re doing like a qualifier, and for now they’re testing the guys and letting people go because there’s too many fighters on the division.

And now they’ve bought Strikeforce, and there’s already some people asking for a bout between Frankie Edgar and Gilbert Melendez…

Yeah. They got it all. It’s UFC evolution, they’re much bigger than the others MMA events. It’s like that: you can beat them, so join them.

Do you believe Melendez may have a chance on a title shot in UFC, against names like Edgar, Maynard or Anthony Pettis?

I don’t believe so. But in MMA it’s hard to predict… It’s a sport that it’s not hard for you to be defeated. On a bout, there are things that happen, like a slightest detail, and just like that you can be beaten down. Even if you are way better than the other guy, it’s not guaranteed you’ll win. You can be doing just fine on a bout, but then you were hit by a punch and everything changes… You can break your jaw, like I did… It’s a complicated sport, but, if everything goes like it should, with no surprises, I’d say he has no chances standing side by side with UFC guys.

You’ve spent some time in Singapore while you were on the healing process from your broken jaw. How is your evolution on the stand-up game? Do you intend to go there before this fight again?

No… I went to Singapore to get completely healed, I needed that break. I trained Muay Thai got the last month and a half that I was there. I was getting over with my healing process, in vacations with my family too. I can’t go there before this fight, especially because it’ll be in Las Vegas, and it’s a completely different time, weather, everything… So I have to stay here.

Source: Tatame

Loretta Hunt: UFC has created a climate of fear that has killed real reporting
By Zach Arnold

I was listening to a few different audio interviews the past couple of days and one interview stuck out to me. It was an interview that Loretta Hunt did with Sportstown Chicago about the politics of MMA writing. To set the stage for the quotes you will read from that conversation, here is how the interview played out. Loretta was asked to give her thoughts about what Randy Couture’s future looks like now that he has retired from active competition. The hosts obviously asked her about this because she worked with Randy Couture on his book, Becoming the Natural: My Life In and Out of the Cage. She talked about the fact that she ended up watching the fight on a television at a bar in Anaheim after spending time at a comic book convention/meeting of sorts. This obviously led to the segue about her not being at the UFC event in Toronto and media credentials.

“I think with the media ban, you know, I think it’s becoming aware now, slowly but surely that a lot of the media’s kind of afraid to talk about this for fear that they’ll lose their credentials as well and I guess I made the decision not too long ago that I’m not just going to be quiet about it any more, it’s not going to do anything to change the situation. If people want to find out more about it, you know, I’ll put the information out there so people can understand that there is no valid reason that they’re denying me and others like Josh Gross & Sherdog credentials, no matter what (Dana White) says.

“A couple of weeks ago he alluded to me and Josh (writing) some dirty things in the past or whatever and there is nothing. I’d love to hear what that is, you know, he said when he has the time some day he’ll sit down and talk about it and I hope he does because I obviously need to hear what it is that I did that was so dirty. The rest of the MMA community remembers me sitting in the press section with Josh many times and maybe a couple more people and that was it covering the sport when no one was really interested in it and I’ve always tried to be as professional as I can and I guess I’ll just continue to do that. So, there’s not much else I can do right now other than speak honestly about what’s happening and try & keep doing a professional job. I’m not just speaking up for myself but I’m speaking up for other people, you know, other smaller outlets and people that are just starting out in this business. I don’t want people to invest all this time in their lives into this sport as journalists, you know, only to be silenced and made to feel intimidated to not write what’s really going on. I want the history of this sport to be documented truthfully, not what we’ve got going on right now where people are just kind of afraid to talk about things. It’s not what journalism is about. And it’s not like this in any other sport.”

That set the stage for discussion about Dana White’s remark from a couple of weeks ago that media outlets need to be careful in who they hire as far as who they send to UFC events.

(Remember the situation with CBS Sports hiring Loretta Hunt only for UFC to not credential her and CBS in returning not covering the Strikeforce event in San Diego?)

“Well, I think Josh Gross was hired by ESPN.com. I’ve been hired by SI.com and others, The Los Angeles Times, and I do my books. I think our body of work speaks for itself and there’s reasons why these outlets have hired us, despite Dana White’s efforts to not get us hired and make sure that we kind of just float away in the sport and never come back. You know, for Dana to say that ESPN and SI needs to be careful about who they hire, you know, that’s… that’s an interesting remark to make, you know, to top news sports outlets in the world that have a super-stringent hiring process and, you know, pride themselves on only hiring the best in each of the sports. So, um… you know, but I don’t suspect this will be the last time he says something like that.”

What was addressed next is why Dana White is mad at her and Josh Gross. Remember this Sherdog article about managers/agents getting credentials (or not) backstage for UFC events? That was the article that caused Dana White to flip out and do his infamous Youtube video rant that drew tons of heat.

“I think with me in particular, I wasn’t giving my opinion when I wrote that story two years ago that got him all upset. I was reporting fact. I was reporting facts based on numerous on-and-off the record sourcing, so I haven’t even brought my personal opinion not so much. I don’t really like to write that way. In fact, it’s very rare that you’ll see me write an opinion piece, it’s not something that I do too much in the sport in the past. Maybe it’s something that I’ll do in the future because I am being asked actually for some opinion-based work. But, um… yeah, no, it’s not even about writing opinions. It’s presenting the facts of a story in a true and honest manner and I overwhelmingly did that and I think we need to go back to that story that he freaked out over. It bothered him so much and obviously it had something to do with the content of the story, about him denying backstage managers and picking who he gave credentials to and who he doesn’t. Which, ironically, where are we experienced that in the sport as well? We’re experiencing it IN THE MEDIA! So, it was a very ironic story for me to write.

“But, um, the managers came to me, a bunch of them came to me and they were upset and they were fearful. They felt that not only, you know, they would have to either take one of the corner men’s credentials to get backstage with their fighters or they would have to sit out, you know, and not go backstage and that worried them on a whole level of reasons. And even a reason I didn’t talk about too much in the article was, you know, how do you think the fighter feels when their manager can’t get backstage? So, they know now that Zuffa doesn’t like or Dana White doesn’t like their manager, you know what I mean? It really puts a strain, it can put a strain on the fighter and manager’s relationship and I don’t think that necessarily is a great thing, either, that comes out of this.

“But, um, yeah, I want people to remember that I don’t go around writing sensational stories or anything like that and I think he’s trying to categorize me as that lately, I don’t really know. But, you know, I see people saying, ’she’s built her career on writing sensational stories.’ If you guys look at my body of work and, at this point, I’ve written I don’t even know how many articles I’ve written about MMA, I never counted, I never thought I would be doing this for 10 years-plus but it’s got to be at least 3,000, maybe 4,000, maybe 5,000. The majority of them are positive about this sport. I was obviously a proponent of this sport very early on, so, you know, I just find it kind of funny that, you know, I guess people that have come into the sport recently and don’t really understand and didn’t bother to read the article or don’t care and that’s their prerogative, you know, some people don’t want to get into the politics of this sport and they just want to enjoy the fights. Believe me, if I could do that, I would but, you know, in reality when Dana White doesn’t want me to come to UFC events, you know, get credentialed and he doesn’t allow me to come to Strikeforce events, that effects my ability to make a living and that’s what we’re getting down to.”

When it comes to big MMA media sites writing controversial or heavy-hitting stories, there are plenty of politics involved in what gets published and what gets spiked.

(Ask MMA Supremacy and Robert Joyner for more discussion about this topic.)

Loretta says the reason she is choosing to be more vocal about the politics between Zuffa and the media is because people are afraid to discuss it publicly in fear of losing their credentials and, in turn, not being able to make a living covering the MMA industry.

“Yeah! I’ve had people tell me! I’ve had people, you know, my peers tell me. I’ve had outlets say to me, you know, ‘we’re just trying to fly under the radar so Dana doesn’t get mad at us.’ Like, these are out major outlets and, you know, like when Jeff Wagenheim did the story for SI.com, he did a mailbag a couple of days later and when I talked to him about the original story, I said, “Jeff, you know, they are media that have told me that they’re afraid to write about this media ban. Like, you’re being brave to do this.’ And he was just like, oh, okay, like Jeff told me later, he said he was like, “okay, Loretta,’ you know. But when he wrote the story he said all these media people contacted him, thanking him for writing the story but then saying they wouldn’t dare write the story ourselves and he said, you know, ‘Loretta, now I believe you, I believe there is some kind of ear and intimidation going on in this sport.’ And it’s not just writers afraid about to write about the media ban, there’s ton of other subjects in the sport that could potentially ruffle Zuffa’s feathers or not that media just don’t even touch, you know, our sport, the media in the sport… there’s a lot of stories out there that they could be hunting and when they tell me, God, you know, thanks for doing that story, and it’s been said to me, too, I can’t help but think there’s people that are, media that are intimidated by Zuffa and the UFC and particularly Dana White.”

Source: Fight Opinion

Fistic Medicine: Insuring Fighters
by Matt Pitt

Health insurers do their thinking with a calculator, summing risks and costs. Until UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta’s breathtaking announcement of the UFC’s commitment to provide training-related health insurance to its fighters, the math has been solidly against mixed martial artists. The many positive attributes fighters have as potential insures -- young, generally male, fit -- have been wholly overshadowed by their massive career-dependent health liability. Fighting for a living is a health insurance deal breaker.

Beyond the risk of their job, several factors make MMA fighters almost uniquely disadvantaged in finding health insurance in America.

MMA is a new sport, and there are a vanishingly small number of professional fighters. As a result, the health risk statistics associated with MMA are based on perhaps 2,000 poorly documented work years; for, firefighting the number of work years with which to build statistical models is in the multi-millions.

Is the risk of paralysis one in 100,000 or one in 160,000? Is there a 0.03 per annum risk of biceps tendon rupture or a 0.11 percent risk? Does a fighter go to the emergency room five times in a career or 20? For firefighters -- another profession with high work-related injury risk -- these numbers are known. For mixed martial artists, they are not; that uncertainty represents hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of exposure for an insurer.

MMA fighters are independent contractors -- not employees -- and are thus unable to purchase insurance as a group. Individually purchased insurance is substantially more expensive than group insurance. Widely disparate pay grades among fighters insure divergent interests and needs regarding insurance coverage and make collective labor action unlikely.

Neither this column nor this website has hesitated to speak critically of the actions of the world’s preeminent MMA organization, but the UFC’s actions on Monday deserve the highest praise. Without any apparent competition, political pressure or threats of unionization on the horizon, the promotion is stepping in to fill a gaping hole in the care of fighters.

A well-known fact in combat sports holds that only a tiny fraction of a fighter’s time is spent involved in competition. For every minute in the ring, there are uncounted hours in the gym. Although the minute-by-minute risk of injury is highest while in competition, the greatest total risk to a fighter is incurred while training. The various state athletic commissions have studiously turned blind eyes to this reality. Fertitta and UFC President Dana White have turned their attention to it.

By giving fighters primary coverage for their most likely health care needs -- injuries in competition and training -- it should make it far easier and cheaper for fighters to buy limited insurance plans to address non-traumatic healthcare costs.

The $50,000 per anum coverage should be entirely sufficient for all but the most catastrophic injuries. The vast majority of orthopedic surgeries, rehabilitation regimens and emergency care falls under this ceiling. Eye injuries, dental injuries and perhaps even staph infections will be covered.

The fact that the insurance is not limited solely to training-related injuries is a necessary provision. The current state of affairs, with fighters covered only for injuries sustained in the ring, puts them in an untenable position.

Some insurance policies for athletes -- and other high value performers, such as actors -- include stipulations limiting risky behavior. Per White, no such stipulations are attached to the UFC plan and for good reason; there are few activities the average man or woman is going to undertake more dangerous than mixed martial arts. Skydiving is allowed. Health insurance companies love skydiving, as injuries are uniformly either trivial or fatal, both of which are cheap to cover.

Overs years of speaking with ringside physicians, fighters, trainers and other medical professionals interested in and involved with MMA, one of the recurring themes I have encountered is how professional the UFC is when dealing with the health of its fighters. The UFC health insurance announcement is more than professional. It is exactly what White described it as -- landmark.

Having proved itself superior to boxing by the criteria of most fans, the UFC has now set the bar for all of combat sports in the most important metric of all -- the welfare of its fighters.

Matt Pitt is a physician with degrees in biophysics and medicine. He is board-certified in emergency medicine and has post-graduate training in head injuries and multi-system trauma. To ask a question that could be answered in a future article, email him at mpitt@sherdog.com.

Source: Sherdog

Former WEC Matchmaker Sean Shelby Takes Over Matchmaking for Strikeforce
by Damon Martin

Business as usual has been the statement of Zuffa since purchasing Strikeforce a couple of months back, but a few changes have taken place within the organization, including the matchmaker position.

According to several MMAWeekly.com sources, former WEC matchmaker Sean Shelby has now taken over the matchmaking duties at Strikeforce.

Shelby was the lead matchmaker at the WEC when the organization merged with the UFC, where he was handling the matchmaking duties for the smaller weight classes alongside longtime UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.

Strikeforce had used a few different matchmakers over the years, but primarily Bob Cook and Rich Chou handled those duties.

It appears as of now that both have been let go by Zuffa and Shelby has stepped in to handle the job on a day-to-day basis.

Cook had been with Strikeforce for several years, but also handles fighters out of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif., and runs Zinkin Entertainment alongside DeWayne Zinkin, managing fighters like Forrest Griffin, Cain Velasquez, and Jon Fitch.

Rich Chou has worked for several different MMA promotions throughout the years including time in the Hawaiian organization Rumble on the Rock, as well as the now defunct EliteXC.

Shelby will now take over the matchmaking duties and has reportedly been on the job already building the upcoming cards for Strikeforce Challengers as well as planned Strikeforce events this summer.

Source: MMA Weekly


American Samoa’s First MMA Event!

Last Saturday night at the Maliu Mai Beach Resort, American Samoa held its very first Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event, called the ‘4:11 Combat Sports Challenge’ presented by Samoa Combat Sports Inc. It featured bouts in Wrestling, Boxing and Mix Martial Arts.

History was made right here in the territory last Saturday night, as American Samoa held its very first Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event, called the "4:11 Combat Sports Challenge" presented by the Samoa Combat Sports Inc. at the Maliu Mai Beach Resort, in front of a sellout crowd.

It featured three bouts of Combat Wrestling, composed of six of Oceania's top wrestlers, followed by four bouts of Combat Boxing with eight of American Samoa's top boxers, and topping the evening off, were four bouts of MMA fights, with some of American Samoa's toughest fighters stepping into the ring to battle it out with discipline, heart, determination and all around toughness.

Before the show began, American Samoa's very own, MMA professional fighter Deutsch Pu'u delivered the welcoming remarks for this historic event. He told the crowd that these fighters were not professionals but amateurs and the number one concern of the night was safety and thanked everyone for showing their support for all of the combatants.

Pu'u also stated that if any young person wants to fight, they should not do it in the streets, school, or anywhere else; but should come on down to Booyaa gym in Leone and train for free and learn what real fighting is all about with discipline and great training.

Pu'u was the very first professional MMA fighter from American Samoa to fight in an off island event, on April 22 this year. He won his professional MMA fight within 22 seconds, during the Gladiator (Hostile) Challenge in California. Currently, Pu'u is at this time undefeated in his MMA career.

He along with the president of the American Samoa Wrestling Association (ASWA) Ethan Lake, were the two main driving forces that pushed for this historic day to take place.

"We had a great turn out, the crowd was very supportive and really got into the action. These fighters trained really long and hard for this day. They did very well and they should be proud of themselves. We will be having another Combat Sports Challenge, keep informed to Samoa News for the exact day and location. We had no problems and everything went smoothly. At this time I would like to thank the sponsors, Booyaa, Liquid Nitro, Off Da Rock Tattoos, Sports Domain and CII," said Lake.

You could see the intensity on each combatant, as they prepared themselves mentally before they entered their arena of battle, as this was the night that all of the hard disciplined work was put to the test.

Samoa News spoke with some of the fans, with one couple saying they came all of the way from the East Side to watch the event and were glad they did, saying the event was professionally done, while another couple stated that they hope that MMA would continue to have events like this, as long as they keep running them well.

The first combatants to enter the ring to start the evening off, were two 165 lb. wrestlers who were no strangers to each other in one of the toughest sports known to man kind.

It was the American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) champion wrestler Bruce Scanlan, against one of the top wrestling contenders, Ammon Autele. As they battled back and forth, it was a tie at the end of the regulation bout, forcing it to go into extra time - Autele took the win in the very first bout of the night.

The next wrestling bout was between two 189 pounders, Simanualii Tuisamoa and Stephen Leasilagi. These two combatants were neck and neck, until Tuisamoa caught Leasilagi in a three quarter nelson late in final period, for the pin and win.

The 220 lb. wrestlers featured the Jr. Olympics and Oceania wrestler Manu Sualevai going against Joseph Xavier Liukuey. Liukuey who was a last minute substitute, had trouble early on against the more experienced Sualevai, who was in control from the start. The match was stopped in the second period, due to an injury to Liukuey's shoulder, giving the win to Sualevai.

Next up was some of the best boxers in American Samoa battling it out. In the first match it was Wayne Gasolo of the Maliu Mai Boxing club going against Kalepi Fata of the Henry Tavake Boxing club, both weighing in at 135 lbs. These two boxers battled it out until the very end, with Fata winning on a split decision.

The next bout of boxing featured two 155 pounders, Sonny Asisiga from the Tama Seugogo Boxing Club versus Lilo Mafulele of the Tagiilima Boxing Club. Mafulele won this match in one of the closest matches of the night, with both fighters trading punches with pinpoint accuracy.

The 165 lb. weight class, showcased two of the more skilled fighters, as Neru Maleisea of the Maliu Mai Boxing Club went up against George Tanoa Jr. of the Henry Tavake Boxing Club. This fight had Maleisea coming out strong in the first round, trying to set the pace. But it was Tanoa Jr. who came back in the 2nd and 3rd rounds to take a unanimous decision win.

Next up were two 175 pounders that featured Asomliu Vili of the Mr. Lavalava Boxing Club, versus Junior Auomanu of the Tulolava Boxing Club. These two heavy hitters battled to a split decision, with Auomanu taking the win.

Last up was what the crowd was waiting for and that was the MMA fights. These fighters laid it all on the line and gave the fans what they came to see.

The first two combatants who weighed in at 210 lbs. was Roy Clemons of Fagaalu, who was a judo expert, going against Josh Faamai of Malaeloa, an MMA fighter.

The first round had Clemons catching Faamai off guard, as Clemons threw Faamai with some perfect judo throws. But in the end, it was Faamai taking the win in a split decision, making Faamai the first ever MMA winner in the first MMA event in American Samoa.

In the next fight, it was Tahiti Tuifatu taking a first round TKO win against a valiant Sebastian Scanlan. Even though this fight was one of the shorter fights of the evening, these two 210 lb. warriors fought with the heart of gladiators, while showing good sportsmanship after the fight.

Next up was two 160 pounders, Tavake Fomai, an MMA fighter of Leone against Jerry (The Marine) Tuitaumasania, another MMA fighter. The ‘Marine' entertained the crowd with lightning quick hands and good takedowns. Fomai showed quickness as well, but it was the takedowns that gave the ‘Marine' an unanimous decision win over Fomai.

The main event fight was filled with what every fight fan wants to see and that is heart, power and determination.

It was Henry (Bad News) Wells of Faleniu going to battle with Able Soliai aka Bad Boy of Asu. These two heavyweights clashed from the very first bell to the last. The bigger Soliai moved well for big man, while Wells relied mainly on his hand speed to try and outbox Soliai. Soliai impressed the judges more with his takedowns than the smaller Wells did with his boxing, with the Bad Boy pulling out the split decision to win the last event of the night.

Source: Wally Carvalho




























All matches & participants are subject to change.

Source: Derrick Bright

Chael Sonnen: More Details Emerge About Indefinite Suspension and Hearing
by Erik Fontanez

UFC middleweight and former title contender Chael Sonnen has been placed under an indefinite suspension by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), making him ineligible to obtain a license to fight in the state of California. MMAWeekly.com first reported the news on Tuesday.
The suspension comes two months after having completed his previously reduced suspension for testosterone use, stemming from his Aug. 7 title bout against UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

CSAC Executive Director George Dodd, in speaking with MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday, confirmed the two factors behind the current suspension: Sonnen’s guilty plea for his money laundering case in Oregon, and also the possibility of false testimony during the UFC fighter’s hearing before the commission on Dec. 2, 2010, to appeal his last suspension.

“What we’re going to be looking at is his testimony (about) his discussion that he had with the Nevada State Athletic Commission,” Dodd explained Wednesday morning. “Because that could have led some of the commissioners to change or sway their vote as far as… the testosterone use. So, we’re going to look at that.”

Sonnen’s appeal of the indefinite suspension will take place on May 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan State Office Building in Los Angeles.

“Karen Chappelle, who is a deputy district attorney general for us, is going to be leading that case and she’s been reviewing that,” added Dodd.

The indefinite suspension stretches to California borders only, according to the executive director. It is up to the other states to either abide by the suspension or choose to ignore it, but most athletic commissions in the United States typically honor other state’s suspensions.

Source: MMA Weekly

Hardy-Lytle Targeted for UFC Live 5 Main Card
by Mike Whitman

The UFC’s fifth live outing on cable network Versus will feature a welterweight tilt between fan-favorite slugger Chris Lytle and former title contender Dan Hardy.

Sherdog.com confirmed the news with a source close to the negotiations on Wednesday following an initial report from ESPN.com. UFC Live 5 will go down Aug. 14 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee and is expected to feature a lightweight bout between contenders Jim Miller and Benson Henderson.

Lytle had a four-fight win streak halted by fellow veteran Brian Ebersole on Feb. 27 in Australia. The 36-year-old began his professional career in 1999 and started his most recent run with the UFC in 2006 following a stint on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 4.

Known for his willingness to stand and bang, Lytle has won “Fight of the Night” honors on five separate occasions. Though “Lights Out” has also competed as a pro boxer in the past, the bulk of the veteran’s MMA wins have been earned through grappling, as Lytle has posted 19 of his 30 career wins via submission.

Never one to shy away from a stand-up battle, Hardy is also known for his willingness to trade on the feet. Since beginning his UFC career in 2008 with four consecutive victories, the Brit has hit the hardest skid of his career. The Team Rough House representative was first turned away by welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in March 2010, and then knocked stiff on his home soil Carlos Condit in October. Most recently, the 28-year-old was decisioned by Anthony Johnson at UFC Fight Night 24 in March.

Source: Sherdog

GSP’s camp responds to criticism that he’s lost his killer instinct to finish fights
By Zach Arnold

On two separate radio shows yesterday, Firas Zahabi and Greg Jackson responded to questions & criticism about Georges St. Pierre’s performance against Jake Shields at UFC 129.

Whether it was online or in the Toronto newspapers, the question that a lot of fans, media, and some fighters (Ben Askren perhaps being one) are asking is this: Has GSP lost his killer instinct to seal the deal against opponents that he should finish off in his Welterweight title defenses?

“He’s just as sharp as he’s always been,” responded Mr. Zahabi in an Monday interview with Mauro Ranallo. “You know, his eye was injured, you could see it half-way through the third round, there was a swipe at the eye from the right side to the left side. It’s on the internet, the video’s on the internet, it’s everywhere. I retweeted the video, somebody sent it to me. It’s clear as day and when you fight with one eye, your depth perception is very well altered.”

MMA Weekly is reporting that St. Pierre suffered some bleeding in the eye but not a detached retina, which is good news. As for the fight against Shields, the injury played a big role in how the rest of the fight played out and the kinds of punches he started to throw.

“I think it had a lot to do with why he was missing his shots,” exclaimed Mr. Zahabi. “It was a little bit hard for him to gauge, you know, the depth and I don’t want to make any excuses. I mean, Jake looked phenomenal, he was better (than he ever has been) and it was a great fight. But the fact of the matter is, Georges did tell me several times he couldn’t see out of his left eye and things were going really well for him the first three rounds and even though he got a knockdown in the fourth round, the good left high-kick to the head… you know, he was still having trouble in that round until he got that high kick.”

As for why he didn’t jump on Shields after the high kick and go for a finish on the ground?

“That’s just textbook. when you stun a guy, you don’t jump on him. You make space because when you jump on him, you create a clinch, buying him time to recover. It’s textbook. In boxing, when you stun a guy you’re supposed to check the guy, you’re supposed to keep him at arms length and keep punching, keep working. But, you know, he did the right thing. Let the guy get up, hurt him again, put him back down, knock him back down, make space, don’t let him get into a clinch. You don’t want to get tied up on the ground with Jake Shields, that’s not the way you’re going to knock him out, so. Georges was definitely working for a knock out that night.”

In an interview Monday with Jack Encarnacao, Greg Jackson discussed the stand-up style of Jake Shields and said his open-handed stance is similar to what you see in a street fight (he made the same remark about Nick Diaz as well). He didn’t think that Jake’s eye-poke of St. Pierre was intentional.

“Well, it’s obviously a mistake, you’re not allowed to poke each other in the eye and I don’t mean street fighting as in like he was trying to poke Georges’ eye. When you open your hands up, especially if you’re fighting somebody’s bigger than you and they’re really launching a lot of power shots at you it’s important to put something in the way, like you can’t always just put your hand against your head like you do in boxing because the force isn’t dispersed in a large glove. So, a lot of times when you’re dealing with stronger people and you’re fighting them, bigger people, you have to really kind of put your hands in the way and your arms in the way of their big shots and parry their big shots so they don’t get clean shots on you because one shot can end your night or your day. With the hands open like that, it’s much more of like trying to anticipate the parry when punches come and stuff. I think what happened is Jake didn’t think and he threw a jab but his hand was still open, even though he threw a jab. So, I don’t think Jake did it on purpose, I know him pretty well and he’s a good guy and I don’t think he would do that on purpose.”

The Albuquerque trainer felt that GSP could finish the fight either on the ground or standing up.

“I felt like if we could do enough damage standing up and then some good ground ‘n pound, Georges might have a good chance of submitting him. He could also knock him out on his feet. We were trying to finish but I think what threw us off of that whole plan was Georges’ eye. When he got that eye poked and he couldn’t see things happening, he just wasn’t himself, you know what I mean? He had to really step up and be brave and focus on staying calm & relaxed and just using that jab as a range-finder and laying down that right hand to punch. But I think at that point, Georges just wanted to make sure that he didn’t get caught with something silly.”

Mr. Zahabi said that he was happy with GSP’s fight performance given the circumstances.

“He’s a warrior, you know, he didn’t back down from the fight at all. He kept engaging Shields. He could have ran around and sat on the first three rounds and just played it safe, he could have just kind of tied up with Jake. No, he kept striking, he kept working for the knockout. He was very adamant about getting it. You know, he saw that with the overhand right, you know how many did he throw? And some of them, you know, a good few landed and backed Shields up, but they just weren’t on the jaw, they were a little too high and some just missed by an inch or two. But he was going for it, Georges was going for it, so I’m really happy with that.”

“If you look at the guys Georges is fighting, all of the guys that he’s fought, who’s finished these guys? Who’s finished Jon Fitch? Who’s finished Jake Shields? Who’s finished these guys? They’re hard to finish these guys, man, they’re really high-caliber fighters and, just, people don’t understand, it’s not always easy. I’m not making excuses. All the coaches are working hard to get all our fighters in our camp to finish, definitely. But it just, you know, it’s just not easy.”

Source: Fight Opinion

Bob Reilly Questions Motives Behind Zuffa's Accident Insurance
By Ariel Helwani

Mixed martial arts' most vocal critic in New York acknowledges that Zuffa's new accident insurance for its fighters is a positive move but won't go as far as saying it will help get MMA legalized in the Empire State.

MMA Fighting contacted Assemblyman Bob Reilly to discuss whether Zuffa's new insurance policy could help pave the way for the legalization of MMA in New York, and while he at first admitted to not hearing the news, he offered -- for perhaps the first time -- a compliment to the MMA promoters.

"I certainly wouldn't disparage that," Reilly said. "I think that's a good thing."

The praise ended there, though, as Reilly quickly questioned the motives behind the decision.

"What immediately came to my mind was, What's the need for insurance? Because advocates for MMA have been touting how safe this sport is and that no one is ever injured, and in fact, the testimony here is that the worst that ever happened was a broken arm. But I don't think that insurance is going to do anything for the very prevalent brain damage that fighters will suffer.

"I think what MMA should be doing is, instead of providing insurance for injuries, is to do away with injuries."

When I explained to Reilly that the UFC fighters were already covered for injuries suffered in fights and the new insurance would cover injuries, suffered in or outside of the gym, while training or not for an upcoming fight, Reilly added:

"It's certainly not a bad thing that they provide this insurance, but it really does little or nothing to solve the problem of what will happen to fighters financially, of the physical damage done to fighters or the fact that this violent sport begets violence in our society. So it does nothing to address the systemic problems of MMA.

"I think it's a positive thing, but I don't think it's a positive step. In the sense that it doesn't address the systemic problems of MMA. But it's certainly not a negative thing."

Prior to Monday's announcement, Zuffa provided a $100,000 policy to each of its fighter to cover injuries sustained during a fight. However, if a fighter injured themselves in training or at home, they were not covered by this policy. As of June 1, though, Zuffa will pay 100 percent insurance premiums for all its fighters and will assign a full-time employee to work on claims.

The insurance policy, which will be underwritten by Houston-based specialty insurance group HCC Insurance Holdings, will offer $50,000 to each fighter in worldwide, 24-hour medical-life insurance and dental coverage, as well as emergency medical evacuation to the fighters.

"Our athletes are some of the very best in the world and we've committed significant financial resources to provide them with insurance that complements the gold standard we have set for event-related coverage," UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta stated in a press release. "We're pleased to provide coverage that enables our athletes to seek and receive treatment for injuries sustained while preparing for bouts."

Source: MMA Fighting

Before Worlds Blog hits the air, the bomb: Roger may be out

Readers praised it and implored to have it back – the GRACIEMAG at the Worlds Blog returns this year and is set to drop on the coming Monday, the 16th of May.

Prior to launch day, though, reporter Ivan Trindade dropped a bomb on GRACIEMAG.com: Roger Gracie’s presence on the mats in Long Beach is less than certain.

“I’m not sure if I’ll be able to compete this year yet,” revealed the Gracie Barra athlete, from London.

“I suffered a leg injury and have been out of training for five weeks. I just started training again now. I’m already training hard and doing my best to be 100% by the Worlds. If I’m feeling well, I’ll fight for sure,” added the three-time absolute world champion.

Get ready for the GRACIEMAG Blog, with more exclusive news on the Worlds.

Source: Gracie Magazine

Brock Lesnar Out of UFC 131 With Illness; Shane Carwin Steps Up
by Ken Pishna

Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar is on the sidelines again with another bout with diverticulitis. UFC president Dana White announced the news in a special announcement on Thursday afternoon.

That means not only is he out of the proposed fight with Junior dos Santos at UFC 131 in Vancouver, but he also has to make some decisions about his future in the sport.

“Brock spent all day yesterday at the Mayo Clinic,” said White. “He’s got some choices to make in a couple of weeks, whether to fight this thing and continue fighting or not.

“Junior dos Santos will fight Shane Carwin instead of Brock Lesnar.”

Lesnar, however, has already made one decision, despite what White says.

“This isn’t the end of my fight career. I believe there’s a solution to every problem,” Lesnar stated. “I just have to find the right solution to fix this problem.

“This isn’t the end of Brock Lesnar.”

Source: MMA Weekly

Mike Dolce Not Working With Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson for UFC 130
By Ariel Helwani

Mike Dolce, one of the key members of Team Quinton "Rampage" Jackson for the last couple of years, has not been helping Jackson prepare for his UFC 130 fight against Matt Hamill.

Dolce, a fighter who was a cast member on the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter but has gained notoriety as of late for his work as a nutritionist and strength and conditioning coach, had been working closely with Jackson since his UFC 92 fight against Wanderlei Silva.

The pair didn't have a falling out, however, Dolce was just already booked to work with Thiago Alves for his fight against Rick Story at the same event.

"Business-wise, it's a great problem," Dolce said on Monday's episode of The MMA Hour, "but as a friend, emotionally, it's really hard for me. I had a really tough time with that. I felt like I was leaving my friend; I was leaving my team behind in moving on with my professional responsibilities."

Dolce said he asked Jackson if he had any fight plans coming up prior to agreeing to work with Alves for this event. At the time, Jackson said he was only planning on fighting again in the summer and gave Dolce his blessing to work with someone else for UFC 130.

"What he's doing for this fight with Matt Hammil, I'm out of that picture right now because I'm here with Thiago for the last month or so. But [Jackson] is a different guy. You know, Quinton was winning in PRIDE on McDonald's, he was eating McDonald's twice a day in PRIDE when he fought Wanderlei in those fights. When he beat Chuck [LIddell] he was living off fast food and Subway, Wendy's and Sonic.

"So you can never count Quinton out, he's just such a talent. But at the same time, I would love to be there. I think I bring some things to the table, and I can help bring out that championship performance out of him."

Dolce, who holds an MMA record of 4-10, lives with his client to help them prepare for a fight, which would have made it impossible for him to work with both Alves and Jackson at the same time.

"With Quinton, it's a little harder to have that constant communication. He's a big star and he has a lot of people around him and sometimes it's hard to get him to look me in the eye, let's say, and really have that coach/athlete discussion. So I kind of handed off that responsibility to some people that can be on the ground with him and deal with him on a 24-hour basis."

Jackson turned down an opportunity to fight Shogun Rua for the light heavyweight title on six weeks' notice after Rashad Evans withdrew from the fight due to a knee injury. Instead, Jon Jones stepped in and, well, you know how that went. Jackson cited poor timing and his weight for turning down the fight.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion has been known to gain weight between fights, which is why Dolce had been such a key member of his team.

But there are no hard feelings between the two, and Dolce expects to be working with Jackson again the next time he fights.

"I love the guy. He's one of my best friends in the whole wide world. We have a very strong bond."

Source: MMA Fighting

Popovitch to train with Sheikh Tahnoon, but first stirs the pot of controversy
by Marcelo Dunlop

Following some trying times, fortune has begun to smile on our GMA Pablo Popovitch (Avengers team), a Rio-born Jiu-Jitsu teacher living in Florida.

After losing his mother and his Teresopolis home with everything in it in January, the 31-year-old black belt was invited to bolster the training sessions of another stalwart Jiu-Jitsu stylist: none other than Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed, a three-stripe black belt – and the prince of Abu Dhabi.

The invitation came after Pablo himself made the cover of GRACIEMAG. He is currently hard at work training to defend his ADCC 2011 title, not to mention an unbeaten streak dating back four years.

So what is it Popovitch is grumbling about? Well, after watching some footage from the 2011 World Pro, there were a few issues that caught the teacher’s attention, and he took it upon himself to share them with GRACIEMAG.com readers.

“Our training camp at Avengers in Florida is underway already, with a number of our students who have been standing out lately participating – like my black belt Vagner Rocha, who took third at the Abu Dhabi No-Gi Pro at both weight and open weight, losing both by referee decision. What I’ve been noticing is that the Gi game is based mostly on grips, strength and weight, with a lot of wins coming by way of a single advantage point and sneakiness,” Pablo told GRACIEMAG.com.

“The champion, Rodolfo Vieira, really does have a tight pass game in the gi. Without the gi, in my opinion, it’s another story: I see the weaker fighter fighting on even terms – and with greater chances of using technique to win. Such was the case with Vagner, who lost to Rodolfo in a fight a lot of folks felt he won. And Vagner only weighs 77kg (170 lbs). The same deal with Rafael Mendes, who lost by judges’ decision. No-Gi, in my eyes, annuls the grip game, evening the playing field when there’s a big weight difference involved. That’s my opinion.”

Source: Gracie Magazine

Former WEC Champ Mike Brown Meets Nam Phan at UFC 133 in Philadelphia

Former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown will look to bounce back from recent loss
es when he faces former ‘Ultimate Fighter’ competitor Nam Phan at UFC 133 in Philadelphia.
The bout was announced by the UFC on Wednesday.

Mike Brown (24-8) has been having a bit of a rough time since losing his WEC title to Jose Aldo in 2009.

Since that fight, Brown has gone 2-3 overall and suffered back-to-back losses in his most recent fights. The American Top Team fighter has been super active as well however over the last several months, so with some time off a rejuvenated Mike Brown will return in August to face Phan in Philadelphia.

Nam Phan (16-8) didn’t have the UFC debut he was hoping for because he lost a very controversial decision to Leonard Garcia last December. Phan was set to return in March in a rematch with Garcia, but a late training injury forced him out of the bout and back to the sidelines.

Now that he’s healthy, Phan will bounce back against Brown in Philadelphia as a part of the UFC 133 undercard in August.

Source: MMA Weekly

UFC 131 in Vancouver to Feature Video Monitors for Judges
by Mike Whitman

Judges at UFC 131 will have video monitors at their disposal come fight time.

Sherdog.com on Wednesday confirmed that the UFC’s request for the cageside judging aide has been approved by the Vancouver Athletic Commission.

“Anything we can do to give the judges another tool is great,” Marc Ratner, UFC vice president of regulatory affairs, told Sherdog.com “We’re very excited about it.”

The news comes on the heels of the UFC’s request that the Nevada State Athletic Commission provide judges with video monitors at UFC 130 on May 28. The jury is still out on that topic, however, as the request will be brought up at the next meeting of the NSAC in the coming weeks.

UFC 131 will be headlined by a heavyweight No. 1 contender bout between “Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 coaches Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos. The event, which goes down June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, will also feature Shane Carwin’s Octagon return, as the former title challenger locks up with Norse heavyweight Jon Olav Einemo. Former two-time lightweight title contender Kenny Florian will also appear on the card in featherweight debut against Diego Nunes.

Source: Sherdog

So, about that proposed Fedor vs. Dan Henderson fight…
By Zach Arnold

As Jonathan Snowden reported the other day, July 30th at Hoffman Estates, Illinois we will see these two men fight under the Strikeforce banner at a reported catch-weight of 220 pounds. MMA Supremacy points out the obvious, which is that Zuffa will be co-promoting an MMA event with M-1. I kid you not. That ought to be fascinating., especially if Fedor wins and Zuffa wants to roll Fedor over to the UFC.

As for the fight itself…


Fedor’s gas tank is not what it used to be and he took a beating from Antonio Silva last February. The body can only take so much wear and tear. We know Dan Henderson can hang for three or five rounds (ask Rampage about that). If Henderson can get this fight to the ground, he can quickly sap out Fedor’s strength. Advantage: Henderson.

Speed & Power

I think it’s a wash for speed. Fedor has better speed standing up and he’ll be fighting a guy of comparable size, which bodes well for him. Henderson has certain punches he aims to deliver and Fedor’s great at countering. On the ground, can Fedor sweep Henderson or will he get stuck if Dan gets top position on him? Dan has power on the mat and he has lots of power standing up (ask Wanderlei). Dan has the power advantage and I think it gives him a better shot of winning this fight than most online seem to be giving him.

(Go to various forums and you’ll see Fedor being touted as the ‘overwhelming’ favorite.)

Recent experience

Look at the level of competition each man has fought recently.

Fedor: Tim Sylvia (W), Andrei Arlovski (W), Brett Rogers (W), Fabricio Werdum (L), Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva (L). Five fights in the last three years and his fight against Rogers was in the Chicago area.

Henderson: Rich Franklin (W), Michael Bisping (W), Jake Shields (L), Renato Babalu (W), Feijao (W). Five fights in the last 2 1/2 years.

No question that moment is on Dan’s side and I’d say that Dan has faced a slightly higher level of competition. He ran into a locomotive when he faced Anderson Silva (nobody’s beating him) and his title match against Rampage was a really tough battle.

Current skill

If there’s anything Fedor’s recent fights has taught us, it’s that he’s incredibly weak against BJJ players. He won’t have to worry about it in this fight, but he should worry about getting pounded hard and pushed against the cage. Look what Brett Rogers did to Fedor and how much trouble he put him in.

If this stays a stand-up war, I see Fedor clipping Dan and putting him down. If this goes to the ground, Fedor’s in for a rough five rounds (unless a doctor stops the fight). He could very easily get cut in the face here.

Addendum: Yes, I know about his fights with Nogueira. I don’t want anyone to act as if I’m a newbie or anything. Take note that I said “recent fights.”

Early thoughts

I think it’s a 55/45 fight in favor of Fedor, but I wouldn’t be overly confident going in as a 55% favorite. Dan presents lots of challenges and the Fedor fear factor is long gone. If I had to make an early prediction, I’d take Dan by decision (three rounds of punishing ground ‘n pound).

My initial assessment of this fight is probably different than everyone else’s, so let’s hear it. Break down this fight in the categories that I used here and make a case as to why which guy will win.

Source: Fight Opinion


Houston Chronicle reports next UFC stadium show could be at Reliant

Dana White pointed out accurately that Toronto's UFC 129 at Rogers Centre was a special case.

The UFC won't be putting on mega-events at a stadium every quarter. It has to be perfect match. That's why we were a little surprised to see the future Houston event in October mentioned as a candidate for a stadium show.

Sources tell Brawl Sports that if Brock Lesnar wins his bout against Junior dos Santos at UFC 131 next month, the company will give serious consideration to running the UFC event at Reliant Stadium and not the previously-reported Toyota Center. If dos Santos wins, they'll almost certainly run Toyota Center. The winner of that UFC 131 bout will face Cain Velasquez in a bout that will almost certainly take place in Houston.

Jeremy Botter throws a little cold water on the idea by mentioning two important notes:

1. Filling a stadium the size of Reliant won't be easy. While Lesnar has historically been the best pay per view draw on the planet, he's not a very good live draw. They'll need more than just a heavyweight title fight to fill that card.

2. There's just one small problem: the Texans have a game scheduled against Oakland the next day. While I've seen the UFC brass tear down an arena in just a matter of hours, I can't imagine they'd be able to get an entire stadium ready for a football game the next day at noon. It simply isn't possible, not with the amount of bleachers and video screens they would be bringing into the stadium for a custom setup.

Botter thinks an NFL lockout is all but a certainty and says the Oct. 8 date at Reliant Stadium could open up. I'd be shocked if the NFL lockout reaches October, but you never know. I'd also be a little surprised if Lesnar beats dos Santos. He's got a lot of ground to make up in the stand-up game. If Lesnar didn't like getting hit by Cain Velasquez, imagine his reaction to the power and speed of JDS.

Source: Yahoo Sports

Couture finishes career with head held high

TORONTO – The cheers came raining down from three packed decks of the Rogers Centre, 55,000 fans screaming goodbye to Randy Couture. He’d just been flattened by Lyoto Machida courtesy of a flying kick to the face that knocked both him and one of his 47-year-old teeth out. It was one last, violent sign that it was time to retire.

The fans weren’t letting go easily. Couture had gotten up and done a post-fight interview. Now they weren’t letting him walk out of that Octagon for the last time in shame. It was never really about wins and losses with Couture, whose legacy far surpasses his 19-11 record.
So they kept stamping and chanting for everything else – for what he meant, for what he gave, for what he represented to a sport they had come to love along with him.

Couture’s first MMA fight came in 1997, at UFC 13, in front of maybe 1,000 people he said in an old civic center in Augusta, Ga. The night before they held a public weigh-in at a Holiday Inn and Couture isn’t sure a dozen people showed up.

The sport doesn’t get here to UFC 129, in a rocking stadium, with a $12.1 million (US) gate and a worldwide pay-per-view audience, without Randy Couture.

And everyone here knew it. So no one wanted the moment to pass.

Machida cut short his post-fight interview to declare Couture a “hero.” Ring announcer Bruce Buffer bowed to him. The Octagon girls were clapping. From all over the floor seats, fighters were standing and cheering, from old rivals to young phenoms, there was no mistaking what Randy Couture meant.

“It was awesome,” UFC president Dana White said.

“That ovation,” Couture said, “was very special.”

Couture is retired now and he says it’s for good this time. This isn’t 2006, when he last called it quits. He has plenty of ways to make money outside the Octagon – in movies, with endorsements, as a trainer. There is no need to deal with these assassins two decades his junior. He could’ve, and probably should’ve, shut it down a while ago.

This was a curtain call though, which, since it is still cage fighting, means he wound up in the hospital. All things considered, it was a fitting conclusion. “He went seven minutes with Machida,” White noted, and yes, he had a point there.

“This is it,” Couture said immediately after the fight, promising his career was over. True to form, he quickly broke into a joke, “I think the last time we had this conversation I had all my teeth.”

Machida had drilled him with a straight kick to the left side of his mouth, a move inspired by one of Machida’s corner men, actor Steven Segal. It came so fast, Couture thought it was a punch. After the doctors revived him and got him to his feet, White approached him to judge his condition.

“I said, ‘You all right, you all right?’ ” White said. “[Couture said] ‘Yeah, he hit me in the tooth.’ And his tooth fell out as he was showing me.”

Couture was still quick enough to catch it and laugh. White could only shake his head at the memory. “[I said] ‘That’s all right, we’ll get you a better one than that when we get back to Vegas.’”

Couture got into MMA for a simple reason, he needed the money. He was 33 years old, had three kids and was working as an assistant wrestling coach at Oregon State. He had boxed during a six-year stint in the Army, been an Olympic alternate wrestler after that and had never been afraid of just about any kind of fight.

So when he heard of this UFC thing, he figured why not?

“Everyone thought I was pretty much crazy,” Couture said of the days leading up to that first victory, when he submitted Tony Halme. His mother told him he’d lost his mind. His friends thought it was a Toughman contest.

“It wasn’t even understood as a sport,” Couture said. “They just thought I was flat nuts. They kept asking what had gotten into me.”

It’s all different now. Now these guys train for years, hone their skills, raise their games. No one attempts it on a lark. Everyone realizes its big business.

It’s the sport Couture helped create, powered now by the generations of fighters he helped inspire around the globe.

His triology of fights against Chuck Liddell from 2003-06, drove MMA to a then-unheard of level of popularity. His 2003 grudge-match victory over Tito Ortiz, his stunning 2007 upset of the hulking Tim Sylvia (complete with his classic “Not bad for an old guy” line afterward) and his upset defense of the heavyweight title against Gabriel Gonzaga all pushed it further.

Mostly he was the bridge from the old days to these days, from when this was an outlaw deal to a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

He was the clean-cut hero, nicknamed “The Natural” and “Captain America.” He’d fight anyone, anytime. His win-loss record isn’t much to look at, but a record 15 of those fights were title bouts. He won the light heavyweight belt three times and the heavyweight belt twice. He won maybe a dozen times as a significant underdog, always at his best when everyone had counted him out.

In the meantime he invested in the sport. He has a clothing line. He’s trained hundreds of fighters and even NFL players. He’s appeared in over two dozen movies and television shows. He wasn’t afraid to fight for what was best for himself and, by proxy, other fighters – even getting into contract disputes and legal wrangling with White and the UFC.

It was just one more battle in a career of them. White doesn’t hold a grudge.

“He’s an incredible human being,” White said. “He’s been a great ambassador for the sport. He’s been great for the brand. Yeah, I love Randy Couture.”

They all loved him Saturday in Toronto. This wasn’t just a fight card for the UFC. It was a milestone, the promotion’s first stadium show. For the fans it was a night to celebrate what MMA had become: this rollicking, traveling circus they no longer have to apologize for loving. This is mainstream, a long way from those humble days of near-empty Holiday Inn ballrooms.

So it was a night for Randy Couture, who lost a fight, lost a tooth and stood in the middle of all those thundering cheers anyway, waved back at the crowd and smiled a big, now-broken grin.

Source: Yahoo Sports

Jay Hieron Sweeps Tourney, Earns a Bellator Welterweight Title Shot

Former IFL welterweight champion Jay Hieron kept his return streak alive on Saturday night at Bellator 43 in Newkirk, Okla., moving into a title fight with Bellator champion Ben Askren.

Hieron used his experience and savvy to keep former Olympic Judoka Rick Hawn at bay for the better part of their three-round bout. While Hawn continues to sharpen his striking arsenal, Hieron used an evasive countering style against Hawn’s aggressive, pressuring tactics.

Hawn closed strong, improving as the seconds ticked away, but Hieron was sharper earlier in the fight, constantly stinging Hawn with an array of punches, knees, and kicks, as he circled away from Hawn’s power.

It was a close fight, with an exciting flurry at the final bell, but Hieron left with cage with a split decision victory and a ticket to a title shot.

“Hard work pays off, I live by that,” said Hieron, $100,000 richer as the tournament champion.

“Askren, shine up my belt for me, I’m coming for it!”

Bryan Baker at one time fell just one fight short of a Bellator middleweight title shot, but he’s on the road to recovery. Since losing in Season 2 middleweight tournament final, Baker has won back-to-back fights, the second of which was an impressive knockout victory over UFC veteran Joe Riggs on Saturday night.

The opening round was primarily a long feeling out process; although Baker landed a couple head kicks to keep Riggs on his heels.

Round two was much the same, albeit at a higher pace than the first, but it was Baker that found the button first. One left hook on the chin sent Riggs face down… fight over.

“That’s exactly what I was looking for to get in, finish, and show my greatness,” Baker said after the fight.

Former WEC bantamweight champion continued his run back towards the top of the division by submitting Jose Vega. It was obvious from the onset that Beebe was searching for the guillotine, latching it on a couple of times early in the opening round from the standing position. Slightly more than four minutes in, he locked it on for good when the fight hit the ground.

With the victory, Beebe ran his streak to four consecutive victories, and joined Eduardo Dantas in Bellator’s Season 5 bantamweight tournament.

Heavyweight bruiser Ron Sparks may have wanted to pound Vince Lucero out, but it wasn’t to be. He did batter Lucero early with some heavy punches, but put him on the mat by kicking his leg out. Spark dropped down into side control and was served up with a keylock for the tap.

Bellator 43 Main Card Results:
-Jay Hieron def. Rick Hawn by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
-Bryan Baker def. Joe Riggs by KO (Punch) at 3:53, R2
-Chase Beebe def. Jose Vega by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 4:06, R1
-Ron Sparks def. Vince Lucero by Submission (Keylock) at 2:18, R1

Source: MMA Weekly

Jamie Varner Has Not Signed to Face Shinya Aoki, Fight Not Likely to Happen

Despite reports stating that Shinya Aoki vs. Jamie Varner is a done deal for Dream’s May 29 event in Japan, the fight is anything but a sure thing.

Varner has been in the running along with former MFC lightweight champion Antonio McKee to face Aoki in the upcoming ‘Fight for Japan’ show, but neither fighter has signed for the fight yet.

Varner’s management team at KO Reps told MMAWeekly.com late Saturday night that no contracts have been signed for the fight, and at this time the bout is looking less and less likely to happen.

Varner is currently scheduled to compete at next weekend’s XFO event in Illinois, and should still be fighting on that card regardless of if the Aoki fight gets signed or not.

Aoki has had three different opponents rumored for Dream 17, with none of them signing on the dotted line to make a bout official.

Source: MMA Weekly

Fighting for Freedom: Tim Kennedy and Brian Stann Reflect on Osama Bin Laden’s Death

Tim Kennedy still remembers exactly where he was on Sept. 11, 2001.

Less than two weeks after his first professional MMA fight, Kennedy was working in California, in the midst of grad school, and had been at work since about 6 a.m. As he was sitting on his computer working that morning, he heard the news about a plane flying into the World Trade Center.

At a loss to understand what was happening, Kennedy switched on the television and turned to CNN to see exactly what was going on. That’s when his life changed forever.

“I watched live on CNN as the second plane flew into the building,” Kennedy said. “By that afternoon I was knocking on the recruiter’s door asking if I could get on a plane to fly to Afghanistan.”

Kennedy joined the Army after seeing the horrific events of Sept. 11 unfold. He would spend the next several years overseas, working his way into the Army Special Forces as they searched for the man most singularly responsible for the acts on that fateful day.

Fast forward nearly 10 years later, and Kennedy, now living in Texas, was at home when he received a call about getting ready for training camp, as Strikeforce was ready to put him back to work in the cage this summer. As nighttime approached, Kennedy started getting text messages on his phone that alerted him to something happening.

Kennedy hopped on his computer trying to see what was going on. When the news flashed across his screen, instead of the sick feeling he had in September 2001, it was a feeling of relief that washed over him.

“I started getting texts from my buddies at Fort Bragg saying like ‘hey dude some pretty awesome stuff’s going on, start paying attention in about an hour.’ So I was up looking, and I’m still a part of a Special Forces unit here in Texas and they had gotten activated for the possible retaliation of what would happen. So I was up on the computer waiting for something to happen, and it started populating ‘Osama Bin Laden is dead,’” Kennedy recounted.

Kennedy himself had spent much of his time in the Army Special Forces dedicated to searching for Osama Bin Laden. So when he heard the news about his demise, he admits it was a wave of emotion he wasn’t expecting.

“It was a lot of really weird emotions. One of course a feeling of finality, of closure, for something that has been going on for such a long time. By no means is the war over, but in the sense of I’ve been in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq, and some of those trips were specifically looking for that guy. The book has not been written, but it’s a chapter that’s seemingly been closed,” said Kennedy.

“I was excited and thrilled, but at the same time I was kind of disappointed, I felt really left out. I’m always torn when I’m not with my brothers overseas of why I’m not there, if I’m doing the right thing by fighting. It’s the same thing when I’m deployed. I’m always like ‘man, I wish I was fighting.’ So it’s always this back and forth battle.”

That internal turmoil is something that Kennedy deals with every day because he loves being a part of the American military, and wants to serve alongside other soldiers overseas. He’s said many times that he wants to give his fighting career a big push over the next few years, and then go back into military service.

But on a day like May 1, when President Barack Obama announced to the world that Osama Bin Laden had been killed during an American operation, Kennedy was ready forgo his fight career and head back into the field.

“It makes me want to, like right now, I just want to get on a plane and go back over there,” expressed Kennedy. “I know that the spring forward Taliban movement and Al-Qaeda is happening, so every time it starts getting warm all the foreign fighters start coming back into Afghanistan and get really excited about fighting for their cause, and now they have even more fuel to their flame is that their leader has just been killed.”

Kennedy has opted to stay at home and fulfill the commitments he promised his wife and himself for his fight career, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be wishing he could be back alongside his fellow Rangers as they continue to mission in the Middle East.

It’s that continuing mission that former Marine Captain Brian Stann wants to make sure people don’t lose site of even though the death of Osama Bin Laden is seen as a victory in America. Stann hopes that this is the first step towards freedom in the Middle East, and a youth uprising to step out from the shadows and out from under the boot heels of oppressors in their nations.

“The things that are taking place in Egypt and Yemen and Libya and also in Syria are very important, and it’s a sign that you cannot stop the flow of information,” Stann told MMAWeekly Radio recently. “Despite the lack of freedoms in those countries they still have smartphones and they still have social media, and the use of information and the fast rapid movement of information is helping them unite to take a united front and say ‘hey this is wrong and we want to live differently.”

Stann heard the news in much the same way that his close friend and teammate Tim Kennedy did that Sunday night. Working away in New Mexico as he gets ready for his July 2 fight against Jorge Santiago, Stann heard the news and a smile crept over his face, but there was still a sadness inside his heart.

“It takes a lot to get me excited. It’s not like the death of Osama Bin Laden can bring any of my Marines back, or any of my friends or any of those family members from New York City that day or the Pentagon, but it’s definitely a positive thing for us,” Stann said.

“There’s still troops that are deployed overseas, there’s still a battle to be won, and we still need to remain vigilant against terrorists in this country. It’s not like we can let our guard down just because Osama Bin Laden’s dead.”

There was a certain level of controversy raised after Sunday night’s announcement that so many Americans were celebrating the death of Bin Laden. Some argued we shouldn’t celebrate anyone’s death.

Stann looks at it from a different angle. He believes the exploitation of the mission to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden is important to the bigger cause of shutting down global terrorism.

“The enemy does a very good job of publicizing any little success, even if they twist the facts like they normally do, but they publicize the heck out of it via Al-Jazeera and their networks and really ignite the morale of their people and really make it look like they’re winning the war on terror. So something like this is a major blow to their information operation. This is their hero of everything,” Stann stated.

“We have to remember and it’s very unfortunate, but there are people out there that their main goal is to kill Americans. It’s just a fact. They’ve just been brainwashed that it’s the right thing, and they have no problems whatsoever killing innocent people. They have no problem killing children. I’ve seen it first hand, and it’s very unfortunate.”

Stann does believe this news has a positive influence on the troops still stationed overseas. With some military personnel spending several months or even years on deployment away from their families and friends back home, news like this can once again let them know what they are fighting for, and encourage them that the work does pay off.

“Something like this can definitely boost your morale for the coming weeks and really move you forward, and keep your spirits high, while you’re really in a very demanding time of your life,” Stann said. “I definitely see this as a morale boost. I see it as a morale boost for America and I think it’s great for us in an area that has been weak in comparison to our enemy, which is information operations.”

After hearing the news that Sunday night and watching President Obama relay the statement about Bin Laden’s death, Tim Kennedy felt like a weight had been lifted off his chest. Something he hadn’t felt since Sept. 10, 2001.

“That was the first night that I’ve slept so soundly in such a long time.”

Source: MMA Weekly

Wanderlei Silva Had Doubts of Coming Back, Now Holds Chris Leben’s Feet to the Fire

Wanderlei Silva is an icon in mixed martial arts. “The Axe Murderer” ruled the roost as the Pride middleweight champion in Japan. But even after Zuffa bought the venerable Japanese fight promotion and ultimately had to close its doors, Silva is as popular as ever.

He has struggled through his time in the Octagon. His record is just 2-3 in his latest stint in the UFC. Fans, however, forgive his losses because they simply love watching Wand fight. They don’t care if he holds a belt, or is rocketing up the rankings.

He’s well aware of that fact.

Silva hasn’t fought in more than a year due to some surgeries, recovery time, and a little bit of doubt.

“There were moments of doubt if I was going to come back,” Silva said in a recent video post on his YouTube channel.

He relies very heavily on his fan support. Silva’s fans came through for him, helping him through the recovery process, and ultimately leading him to a fight against Chris Leben at UFC 132.

“Every sentence I read, each day, is a great help,” Silva said of his fans. “You guys give me great strength.”

Silva’s overall record is 33-10-1. He is a fighter, much like the recently retired Randy Couture, that transcends wins and losses. The title runs are all well and good, but when Wanderlei Silva steps in the Octagon, his passion for the fight is what shines through. He is a fighter’s fighter, as well as a fan’s fighter. He loves to scrap.

Silva was offered a fight with Brian Stann, but Stann, as good a fighter as he is and every improving, doesn’t bring the same fight to the table that Leben does.

“Chris Leben is a brave guy that comes to fight. His fighting style is pretty similar to mine,” Silva assessed.

Leben is cut from the same cloth and should make for the type of fight that Silva is known for, the type of fight that his fans crave. Neither fighter is expected to pull any punches and that’s how Silva wants it. In fact, he demands it.

“I want to show everyone that I am ready again,” he said. “Leben, train hard, because my fans want to see a show on July 2.”

Source: MMA Weekly


Boxing Smoker at Palolo Gym

Hi Everyone,
Just wanted to inform you that our next Boxing Smoker is this Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 6 p.m. at the Palolo District Park Gym. Haven't done the matches yet, but we should have between 10-15 matches.

Thanks for Your Support!!!

Source: Bruce Kawano

Rankings: ‘El Nino’ crashes the party

Over the past several years, Gilbert Melendez told anyone who would listen that he is a Top-10 talent.

Other fighters will tell you that the rankings don’t matter, but “El Nino” wears his heart on his sleeve and felt he was due recognition for his skills.

He heard the criticisms: Strikeforce didn’t have a deep roster at lightweight, the company’s ban on ground elbows didn’t help him, and so on.

Melendez knew these critiques were about things that were beyond his control, so he did the only thing he could, given the situation: He went out and improved as a fighter. He fought whomever Strikeforce put in front of him. He took fights in Japan. Give Gilbert Melendez a chance to improve his game, and he’ll take it.
More From Dave Doyle

* Octagon Observations: Hominick steals show May 1, 2011

The Northern California-based fighter is finally being rewarded for his persistence. In his first Strikeforce lightweight title defense under Zuffa’s watch (and the first under full unified rules), Melendez went out and made a statement. “El Nino” went out and destroyed the well-regarded Tatsuya Kawajiri on April 9. Melendez’s standup was as crisp as it was ferocious, as he needed only 3:14 to finish his foe.

With that, Melendez vaulted himself right into the heart of the conversation about the logjam of elite lightweights – and into the Top 10 itself. Melendez finished with 31 points, good for 10th place, one point behind Gray Maynard, who rematches Frankie Edgar for the UFC lightweight title on Memorial Day weekend.

Melendez’s Top 10 entry was facilitated by Jake Shields’ UFC 129 loss to Georges St. Pierre, which both dropped the former out of the Top 10 and didn’t help the latter, either. Last month, out of 22 ballots, Silva was in first place with 14 first-place votes and St. Pierre second with eight. GSP remained in second this month, but this time out, only grabbed two first-place votes out of 21 cast. Silva claimed the remaining 19 first-place votes and garnered 207 points overall, 16 ahead of St. Pierre.

This month’s voting panel: Denny Burkholder, CBSSports.com; Elias Cepeda, Inside Fighting; Mike Chiappetta MMAFighting.com and Fight! Magazine; Steve Cofield, Cagewriter and ESPN Radio 1100 Las Vegas; Neil Davidson The Canadian Press; Dave Doyle Yahoo! Sports; Ben Fowlkes, SportsIllustrated.com and MMAFighting.com; Josh Gross, ESPN.com; Ariel Helwani, Versus.com and MMAFighting.com; Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports; Damon Martin, MMAWeekly.com; Todd Martin, freelance; Franklin McNeil, ESPN.com; Brad McCray, freelance; Dave Meltzer, Yahoo! Sports and The Wrestling Observer; John Morgan, MMAjunkie.com; Ken Pishna, MMAWeekly.com; Michael David Smith, MMAFighting.com; Mike Straka, HDNet; Dann Stupp, MMAjunkie.com and The Dayton Daily News;Jeff Wagenheim, SI.com.

Scoring: Ten points for a first-place vote, nine points for second, etc., down to one point for a 10th-place vote. Fighters who are under suspension for use of performance-enhancing substances or abuse of drugs are ineligible to be considered for the duration of their suspensions. Fighters who have been inactive for more than 12 months are ineligible for consideration until the completion of their next fight.

10. Gilbert Melendez
Points: 31
Affiliation: Strikeforce (lightweight champion)
Weight class: lightweight
Hometown: San Francisco
Record: 19-2 (won past five)
Last month’s ranking: unranked
Most recent result: def. Tatsuya Kawajiri, R1 TKO, April 9
Analysis: No offense to Anthony Pettis, but no one is more deserving of the Edgar-Maynard III winner than Melendez.

9. Gray Maynard
Points: 32
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: lightweight
Hometown: Las Vegas
Record: 10-0-1, 1 no-contest (draw in previous fight)
Last month’s ranking: 10
Most recent result: vs. Frankie Edgar, majority draw, Jan. 1
Analysis: Last time out against Edgar, Maynard went all-out in the first round, didn’t finish, and ended up with a draw. Will he better pace himself this time around?

8. Jon Fitch
Points: 37
Affiliation: UFC
Weight class: welterweight
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
Record: 23-3-1, 1 no-contest (draw in previous fight)
Last month’s ranking: 9
Most recent result: majority draw vs. B.J. Penn, Feb. 21
Analysis: Fitch just underwent shoulder surgery; if all goes well, he’ll be back in 4-6 months.

7. Cain Velasquez
Points: 75
Affiliation: UFC (heavyweight champion
Weight class: heavyweight
Hometown: Salinas, Calif.
Record: 9-0 (won past nine)
Last month’s ranking: 7
Most recent result: def. Brock Lesnar, R1 TKO, Oct. 23
Analysis: An October date in Houston, likely against the Brock Lesnar-Junior dos Santos winner, is in Cain’s cards.

6. Dominick Cruz
Points: 93
Affiliation: UFC (bantamweight champion)
Weight class: bantamweight
Hometown: San Diego
Record: 16-1 (won past seven)
Last month’s ranking: 6
Most recent result: def. Scott Jorgensen, unanimous decision, Dec. 16
Analysis: Cruz and his UFC 132 challenger, Urijah Faber, are already yapping at one another. Come July 2 we should have ourselves one of the year’s hot grudge matches.

5. Frankie Edgar
Points: 115
Affiliation: UFC (lightweight champion)
Weight class: lightweight
Hometown: Toms River, N.J.
Record: 13-1-1 (draw in previous fight)
Last month’s ranking: 5
Most recent result: split draw vs. Gray Maynard, Jan. 1
Analysis:The guy with the belt is 0-1-1 against his May 28 challenger. A win over Maynard is needed to keep his top-five ranking.

4. Jon Jones
Points: 140
Affiliation: UFC (light heavyweight champion)
Weight class: light heavyweight
Hometown: Endicott, N.Y.
Record: 13-1 (won previous four)
Last month’s ranking: unranked
Most recent result: def. Mauricio Rua, R3 TKO, March 19
Analysis: One second-place vote and five thirds show many believe Jones is already knocking on Silva and St. Pierre’s door. A sixth and a seventh show not everyone is convinced.

3. Jose Aldo
Points: 156
Affiliation: UFC (featherweight champion)
Weight class: featherweight
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro
Record: 18-1 (won past 11)
Last month’s ranking: 3
Most recent result: def. Mark Hominick, unanimous decision, April 30
Analysis: Aldo looked like death warmed over on the day before his fight with Hominick, so the voters aren’t penalizing him much for not winning by finish. But the competition at 145 will only get tougher from here.

2. Georges St. Pierre
Points: 191 (two first-place votes)
Affiliation: UFC (welterweight champion
Weight class: welterweight
Hometown: Saint-Isidore, Quebec
Record: 22-2 (won past nine)
Last month’s ranking: 1
Most recent result: def. Jake Shields, unanimous decision, April 30
Analysis: Count me among those who think the criticism of GSP has been unfair – try fighting Jake Shields with one eye closed and report back to me on how you do – but a fight with Nick Diaz could go a long way toward re-establishing St. Pierre as an exciting fighter.

1. Anderson Silva
Points: 207 (19 first-place votes)
Affiliation: UFC (middleweight champion
Weight class: middleweight
Hometown: Curitiba, Brazil
Record: 28-4 (won past 13)
Last month’s ranking: 2
Most recent result: def. Vitor Belfort, R1 KO, Feb. 5
Analysis: Silva’s next fight is against Yushin Okami, whose disqualification win over Silva in 2006 is the latter’s last official loss. While most fans don’t regard it as a “real” loss, that won’t stop Silva from seeking revenge.


• Votes for others: Jake Shields 24; Nick Diaz 15; Mauricio Rua 11; Rashad Evans 5; Fedor Emelianenko 4; B.J. Penn, Lyoto Machida 3; Joe Benavidez 2.

• Upcoming matches for ranked fighters: No. 5 Frank Edgar vs. No. 9 Gray Maynard, May 28, Las Vegas.

Source: Yahoo Sports

Diaz signs boxing fight; will he get GSP instead?

The pressure has started for the Ultimate Fighting Championship to offer Georges St. Pierre to Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz after boxing promoter Don Chargin confirmed Friday that Diaz and former IBF super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy signed for a boxing match in the fall.

“Right now, the bout is signed with Jeff Lacy and Nick Diaz,” said Chargin, whose idea is to have it headline a show that would include both boxing and mixed martial arts fights.

Diaz and his camp have been talking since his win over Paul Daley on April 9 in San Diego that his next fight would be in a boxing ring and not a cage. Zuffa, the parent company of both UFC and Strikeforce, insists on all of its fighters signing exclusive contracts to prevent things like this from happening. But Diaz’s contract, signed with Strikeforce before Strikeforce was purchased by Zuffa in March, negotiated in the right to do a boxing match. UFC president Dana White has said that in the purchase, they will honor all the terms of the existing Strikeforce contracts.

While a number of MMA fighters have had boxing matches, including Diaz, Anderson Silva, Chris Lytle, Jeff Monson, Marcus Davis and Jens Pulver, this would be the first time a major organization champion would take the risk. And Lacy, 34, would be the highest-profile boxer that a big-name MMA fighter would have faced under boxing rules.

While the two sports have a completely different demographic profile, there is still a natural rivalry between the two, particularly from promoters, because it is viewed they are battling for supremacy both with the media and general public as to which is the most popular form of fighting.

Lacy (25-4, 1 no-contest) has struggled of late, losing three of his last four fights, including a decision to Jermain Taylor in 2008 and a TKO loss to Roy Jones Jr. the next year. Lacy won his first 21 fights before losing the IBF belt to Joe Calzaghe in 2006. Known as a knockout artist with power in both hands, he was bothered by shoulder problems in recent years and in his last fight, on Dec. 11 in St. Petersburg, Fla., lost via decision to journeyman fighter Dhafir Smith.

Chargin, who admitted knowing almost nothing about mixed martial arts, said he’s been in talks with Diaz about boxing for about five or six months. He said that originally he was looking at matching Diaz against Fernando Vargas, but due to health issues, the fight fell through.

Chargin noted that he senses Diaz is far more marketable now than when the talks first started with his three recent title defenses on Showtime. With the exception of Herschel Walker and Fedor Emelianenko, Diaz has proven to be Strikeforce’s best ratings draw of the past year.

The brooding fighter, who is known for stream-of-consciousness interviews that cover a variety of topics, has the unique ability to generate both love and hate, but never indifference, from audiences.

Diaz has shown some of the best boxing skills in mixed martial arts in both winning and retaining the Strikeforce title against a diet of stand-up fighters, including pro boxer K.J. Noons, slugger Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos and most recently, Daley, one of the most feared strikers in the division. Daley, a kickboxer who migrated to MMA because there is more money in that sport, knocked Diaz down twice in the first round before Diaz came back to win and keep the title in one of this year’s most exciting MMA fights.

Diaz, 27, trains extensively in boxing, including with Andre Ward, but boxing in an MMA fight and in a boxing match are entirely different, not only the obvious difference in glove sizes, but the stance and mechanics.

In MMA, while boxing, you have to defend against kicks, elbows and takedowns. With the smaller gloves, the defensive game is also different.

“I’m bringing in a couple of good 10-round fighters to train with him and get him ready,” said Chargin, whose comnpany sent out a press release on Friday announcing the fight.

White mentioned Diaz (25-7, 1 no contest in MMA), who has won his last 10 fights, as a potential next opponent for St. Pierre, the UFC welterweight champion, after St. Pierre’s win over Diaz’s teammate, Jake Shields, on April 30 in Toronto. But Diaz’s manager, Cesar Gracie, who confirmed on Friday in a text message to MMAWeekly.com that Diaz had signed an agreement, said no formal offer or negotiations for such a fight have started. Some see this announcement as a way to pressure UFC into action for a fight which would be, by far, the most high-profile of Diaz’s career. White did not respond to a request for comment.

“This is a very dangerous fight for both men,” said Chargin. “Not only is this fight dangerous but stylistically it is very intriguing. I expected more resistance from fight fans and media in regards to this matchup, but its amazing as to the hundreds of calls and emails I’ve received from fans on both sides wanting to see this matchup take place. I’ve received more than a few inquiries from some other very high-profile boxers that want to step up and fight Nick. It’s been a real whirlwind.”

Chargin said he’s only seen one Diaz MMA fight, on DVD, which he believed was his fight from last year against Hayato Sakurai from Japan. But he said he has watched him train in boxing and was very impressed.

“I haven’t been impressed by most MMA guys,” he said, “But he has a good jab, can throw good hooks, he’s a real fighter.”

Chargin also said he would announce on Monday a world champion in boxing who would be Diaz’s next opponent should he beat Lacy.

But that may be getting ahead of things.

Diaz has only had one pro boxing match, and that was a four-rounder six years ago, which he won via decision over Alfonso Rocha in Sacramento, Calif., during a period when he was a UFC fighter, but before UFC insisted on exclusive rights to promote its fighters.

The few name boxer vs. MMA fighter matches that have taken place thus far have all been under MMA rules. The most high-profile was former multi-division boxing champion James Toney being taken down and easily finished by multi-time UFC champion Randy Couture on Aug. 28 in Boston, and former boxing heavyweight champion Ray Mercer’s two forays: a loss in an exhibition fight to Kimbo Slice, and nine-second knockout win over former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia.

Source: Yahoo Sports

MMA Top 10 Featherweights: Aldo on Top, Mendes No. 2

Jose Aldo has now made his UFC debut and won the UFC's first featherweight title fight, an entertaining if not terribly competitive unanimous decision over Mark Hominick at UFC 129. So what does the UFC do with Aldo from here?

The fight I think the UFC really wants to make for Aldo is against Kenny Florian, who has more name recognition than anyone else on the UFC's featherweight roster. If Florian wins his featherweight debut against Diego Nunes at UFC 131, he'll instantly step into title contention -- and into the featherweight Top 10.

But for now, the No. 1 featherweight appears headed toward an August showdown with the undefeated Chad Mendes -- and on my featherweight rankings, that's the right call.

(Number in parentheses is the fighter's rank in the last featherweight list.)

1. Jose Aldo (1): Aldo looked great at UFC 129, but we did see a few chinks in his armor. Off his back with Hominick on top of him he struggled to defend himself, and he appeared to tire as the fight wore on, raising questions about his cardio. He's unquestionably the No. 1 featherweight in MMA, but he doesn't have the unbeatable aura of a Georges St. Pierre.

2. Chad Mendes (7): At 10-0 and coming off a big win over Michihiro Omigawa, Mendes is absolutely worthy of being next in line for a featherweight title fight. Mendes will have a tough time standing with Aldo, who is a much better striker and has a big reach advantage, but Mendes is a great wrestler who could get on top of Aldo for 25 minutes and win a decision.

3. Hatsu Hioki (2): It's an unfortunate reality of MMA in Japan these days that Hioki, who owns championship belts in both Shooto and Sengoku, just doesn't have many interesting fights available to him. In the UFC, however, there would be a nearly never-ending supply of good fights for him to take. The sooner the UFC can sign Hioki, the better.

4. Manny Gamburyan (3): Gamburyan's fight with Tyson Griffin in June promises to be a lot of fun, and an example of something we're going to see a lot of in the months ahead: Former UFC lightweights dropping down to 145 pounds.

5. Michihiro Omigawa (4): After Omigawa struggled with Mendes, his job in the UFC could be on the line against Darren Elkins at UFC 131. Omigawa had a great run in Japan in 2009 and 2010; now he needs to show that he can beat an American wrestler.

6. Marlon Sandro (5): While the UFC builds up its featherweight division, Bellator is quietly developing a very exciting featherweight division of its own. The best of the bunch in Bellator is Sandro, who's 17-2 in his career and who's as fun to watch as anyone in the sport. Sandro will compete in a Bellator featherweight division that also includes Joe Warren, Patricio "Pitbull" Freire, Ronnie Mann and Daniel Straus. There are great featherweight fights ahead for Bellator.

7. Mark Hominick (NR): Hominick deserves all the credit in the world for the toughness he showed against Aldo, continuing not just to finish the fight after he was badly hurt, but to win the fifth round. Yes, Aldo was the better fighter, but Hominick gave Aldo a tougher fight than any of his eight previous Zuffa opponents had given him. Hominick showed he legitimately belongs in the Top 10.

8. Erik Koch (NR): Koch is 12-1, with the only loss coming against Mendes, and he's won the Knockout of the Night award in his last two fights. Koch, who has Cub Swanson at UFC 132 next, is rapidly becoming the kind of fighter fans love to watch.

9. Diego Nunes (9): The 16-1 Nunes is coming off his biggest win to date, against Mike Brown in January, and next he gets Florian in June. If he can beat Florian, he has to be considered a future title contender.

10. Dustin Poirier (8): UFC 131 may be the year's most significant card for the featherweight division: In addition to the aforementioned Florian-Nunes and Omigawa-Elkins fights, UFC 131 also features Poirier taking on Jason "Shotgun" Young. Poirier looked phenomenal in his featherweight debut against Josh Grispi at UFC 125, and at age 22 he may have the most exciting future of anyone at 145 pounds.

Source: MMA Fighting

My First Fight: Jens Pulver

Jens PulverLooking back now, Jens Pulver can't say exactly what he was expecting that day. A test, maybe. A way to find out something about himself that he'd only guessed at before.

The name of the event – The Bas Rutten Invitational 2 – sounded official enough. If the Dutch Pancrase fighter was affiliated with it, and if they'd already done it once without anything terrible happening, how bad could it be?

But since this is small-time MMA in 1999, we're not talking about a fancy event at a civic center. We're talking a couple hundred people packed into a Muay Thai gym in Littleton, Colorado, a town where just four days earlier two heavily armed teenagers had walked into Columbine High School and killed 12 classmates and one teacher before taking their own lives.

It seemed like an unusual time and place for grown men to gather and beat one another up for sport, but the date had already been set and the tournament participants had been rounded up. No one knew what to do except proceed as planned.

"It was really strange," Pulver recalls now. "Columbine had just happened, so we went out and visited what was basically a memorial. I remember all the news trucks out there and all the flowers. We went over there and paid our respects, and it was pretty heavy. We were out there trying to do this sport, and right there something as horrific as Columbine had happened."

Pulver had come to Colorado because although he knew a little bit about fighting after his wrestling career at Boise State and assorted "underground" fights against local tough guys, he knew there was a whole other world to it that he had barely touched. In the late 90s, being a professional MMA fighter was still more a state of mind than anything else. If you arrived at the fight reasonably on time and put your hands up when the bell rang, you were a pro. Aside from being able to tell your friends about it afterward, there weren't a lot of other rewards involved.

But when Pulver heard about the tournament in Colorado, he knew he had to go check it out. He'd hit a heavy bag in a boxing gym a couple of times. He'd been introduced to the idea of submissions, even if he was far from well-versed in them. But at his core, Pulver says, he was still just a wrestler with a chip on his shoulder. That's how he planned to fight, right up until he got an unexpected pep talk a few minutes before he was scheduled to go on.

"It was crazy because I was just sitting there and I remember [former UFC matchmaker] John Peretti coming up before the fight saying, 'All right, you've got to be exciting. You've got to do this and that.' I was just like, oh my God. But at the same time, okay, I guess I can do that. It just seemed like so much. It was like, you want me to do what? Stand up? Okay. It was wild to me."

Still, something about it appealed to him. There had been plenty of times during his college wrestling days when he'd thought to himself, this match would go down very differently if they'd let me punch you in the face. Now here was his chance. The only problem was that the other guy would be punching back.

"I was really nervous, because I knew they could do more to me than just wrestle. All I could do was just hold on to my britches and go. I was a wrestler, born and raised, but I got in there and just started blasting punches. Just swinging. I had great conditioning because I was a wrestler at Boise State, and I just got after it. I just went wild. It was crazy."

His first fight was a furious three minutes against a guy named Curtis Hill. Pulver remembers hitting him with a big left that wobbled him, then moving in close for an uppercut. After another left hand Hill was sent reeling, and that's when his corner stopped the fight.

"It was a rush," Pulver says.

He didn't know it at the time, but it was that aggressive, slugging style he'd come to be known for later in his career. His love affair with power punching started that day, and the relationship wasn't always a healthy one.

"I think I took it too far later on because of that. Like Pat [Miletich] said, early on my base was getting people down and pounding on them. But then I got into always wanting to stand with everyone. I wanted to stand there and hit you. But it gets costly. You're basically just shooting the lights. They can catch you and you can catch them."

While he was glad to get the win in his first fight, Pulver was equally glad that the tournament structure would allow him another chance to fight that same day.

"I just wanted to keep going, keep figuring it out," he says.

He got his chance against a fighter by the name of David Harris, who was practically an MMA veteran compared to Pulver. Harris had gone 4-0 earlier that same year when he made his own debut at the first Bas Rutten Invitational. Harris had submitted John Alessio in his first round bout that day, but Pulver was determined to give him more of a challenge.

"We went for what felt like forever, and I threw this kid everywhere," Pulver recalls. "I'm tossing him this way and that way and man, that kid was so tough. I hit him with everything. I about brought the kitchen sink down on him. Then I remember he shot in for a single-leg [takedown] and I just thought, there is no way you're taking me down. I had my wrestling shoes on and everything. I just thought there was no way."

By then they'd been at it for almost twelve minutes without any round breaks. Pulver's cardio was holding up well, and he felt certain that there wasn't a man in the room who could take him down with something as basic as a single-leg. The fact that Harris was even attempting it seemed like a sign of desperation.

"All of a sudden he wraps around my knee and I feel my foot go in a different direction, and it was like, what in God's name? What is this? I didn't know anything about footlocks. To me it was just wrestling with punches until I got caught in that."

Confused, and in an increasing amount of pain, Pulver was forced to tap out from a toe hold 11:57 in. He'd had his first win and his first loss in the same day, and by the time he left the little gym in Colorado it was fair to say he was hooked on MMA.

He had no idea that he would make a career of it for the next decade and then some, becoming a UFC champion and a fan favorite in the process. All Pulver knew was that he wanted more, though he had no idea where that pursuit would take him.

"I had no clue. You had to be a fool just to want to do it. I had a job. I was coaching wrestling at a high school. I told my family, you know, this is what I want to do. They were like, are you insane? Again, it's legal in like three states at this time. They don't even have my weight class. This doesn't have retirement or benefits. But my desire to want to compete and be an athlete was just too much. I had to do it."

Source: MMA Fighting

Aloha everyone,

Source: MMA Weekly

Hieron Ousts Hawn, Eyes Askren in Bellator

A 10th consecutive victory came by the narrowest of margins for Jay Hieron.

Hieron took a razor-thin split decision from the previously unbeaten Rick Hawn to win the Bellator Fighting Championships Season 4 welterweight tournament at Bellator 43 on Saturday at the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Okla. Two of the three cageside judges -- Jim Lambert and Gary Ritter -- saw it 29-28 for Hieron. A third, Jason Greenwalt, cast a dissenting 29-28 score in Hawn’s favor.

“I feel awesome,” Hieron said. “Hard work pays off. I live by that. I train my butt off.”

The win gives Hieron a perfect 3-0 mark inside Bellator and secures his shot at the promotion’s reigning welterweight champion, 2008 Olympian Ben Askren.

Though he spent much of the fight circling and backpedaling in the face of a relentlessly advancing Hawn, Hieron countered beautifully throughout the competitive 15-minute affair. He utilized a variety of strikes -- jabs, leg kicks and spinning back kicks among them -- to offset Hawn’s aggression.

Rounds one and three appeared fairly clear cut in terms of scoring, with Hieron taking the first and Hawn capturing the third. Round two was far more difficult to call, as Hawn stalked and landed and Hieron countered as he came forward.

Hawn, a 2004 Olympian in judo, finished the stronger of the two. He wobbled Hieron with a clubbing right hand, met him with a series of stiff left jabs and attacked the legs with opportunistic kicks in the third round. Still, his excellent work was not enough to sway the scorecards fully in his favor.
A brutal left hook from WEC import Bryan Baker spoiled the promotional debut of Joe Riggs and brought a decisive conclusion to their featured middleweight matchup 3:53 into the second round.

Action was sparse between the two 185-pounders in the first round, outside of some counterpunching from Riggs and two flying knees from Baker. They picked up the pace in round two, as Baker drew the UFC veteran into the clinch, where he softened up Riggs with knees to the body and legs. Ultimately, they separated and exchanged. Baker landed with authority, as he dropped his foe with the left and hovered above him for a few awkward seconds until referee Jason Herzog saw Riggs was in no condition to continue.

“That’s exactly what I was looking for -- to get in, finish and show my greatness,” said Baker, a 25-year-old judo black belt who has won nine of his last 10 fights.

Afterward, Baker dropped to a knee and proposed to his girlfriend. She said yes.

Former WEC champion Chase Beebe qualified for the forthcoming Bellator Season 5 bantamweight tournament, as he submitted Jose Vega with a first-round guillotine choke. Vega met his demise 4:06 into round one.

The two bantamweights traded takedowns and spent much of their time engaging one another in the clinch. Beebe tried two standing guillotines earlier in the fight, and Vega freed himself without much of a problem. Later, as they grappled against the cage, Beebe landed another choke, dragged Vega to the ground, arched his hips and finished him there.

“He threw me off,” said Beebe, who has rattled off four consecutive victories. “He was a lot tougher than I
anticipated. I’m just happy I got to finish it.”

Hulking undefeated heavyweight Ron Sparks submitted journeyman Vince Lucero with a first-round keylock in a featured matchup between two beefy big men. The end came 2:18 into round one.

Sparks chopped down Lucero with a series of thudding low kicks, the last of which put the International Fight League veteran on his back. He moved to side control without much resistance, isolated Lucero’s arm and cinched the keylock. His face contorted by visible pain, Lucero surrendered.

Source: Sherdog

Scrapplers Fest Jiu Jitsu Tournament
Island School, Puhi, Kauai
(Right behind Kauai Community College)
Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kids weights and brackets will be made that morning to make fairest match ups!

White, Blue belts and Beginner no gi (3 years and under) 131-under, 132-145, 146-159, 160-173, 174-187, 188-201, 202-215, 216-above

Purple-above belts and Advanced no gi (+3years)

159-below, 160-180, 181-201, 202-above

Also having a 36 year old and above class for gi white belts and blue belts!

***Not advertised but Relson Gracie students get an additional $10 off entry fees.***

Pre-Register by May 20th and pay

Entry fees on May 21st

Men can add 36-above division to Men division only $10 more! Or just compete in that division for the Men price

Weigh ins at Scrappa Lifestylez store in Hanamaulu next to the post office from 5pm-9pm on Friday May 20th.

Also, tournament day weigh ins kids/adults till 9am!! And I mean 9am!

Kids start at 10am
Adults start at 1230pm

Make sure competitors are there at tournament site at least 1 1/2 hours before estimated times.

There will be no food allowed in the gym. There will also be food and drinks available there.

Also no smoking on school grounds, and no one allowed on the school playgrounds.

Spectators- $5 for kids and $7 for adults.

Competitors will receive competitor shirts while their size last!


" Straight ankle locks

" No Neck Cranks (cervical without chokes)
" No Leg Locks and Toe Holds (Exception: Purple Belts and Above/Advanced No Gi)
" No Heel Hooks
" No Wrist, Bicep or Calf Locks (Exception: Purple Belts and Above/Advanced No Gi)
" No Attacks to Windpipe, Eyes, Small Joints or Groin
" No Fish Hooks, Hair Pulling or Biting
" No Hands, Elbows or Knees on Face
" No Scissors Takedown
" No Striking of any kind
" No Slamming your opponent on the mat
" No Submission for Kids under 10years of age, Gi or No Gi
¢ Any intentional use of an illegal technique, abuse of an official or show poor sportsmanship will result in immediate disqualification or ejection of the competitor, coach or spectator.
¢ Refereeing is a subjective task, and as such, is prone to personal interpretation, judgment, and human error. Any dispute of match or calls must be made before the next match commences. In the name of fairness, referee will make all attempts to resolve disputes and disagreements, but REFEREES possess the FINAL authority on all decisions and designations of winners.
¢ All competitors are required to attend their designated rules clinic. Competitors will be allowed to address questions and concerns surrounding competition rules and match points scoring system during the rules clinic.
¢ The Kimono(GI) must be washed and dried with no unpleasant odors. The Kimono(GI) must be free of tears and of proper length. The jacket is to be of sufficient length down to the thighs, sleeves must reach the wrist with arms extended in front of the body.
¢ Competitors who fail to appear when their names is called will forfeit their match.
¢ In case of victory the athlete must remain at the designated mat until the next match.

Source: Pono Pananganan

Aloha everyone,

Hope all is well with everyone. Our 2011 Sera's Kajukenbo Open Tournament will be held on Saturday, July 16th at War Memorial Gym in Wailuku, Maui. This year, in addition to 1st and 2nd place trophies for each division, we will be awarding Team Champions trophies for each of the three events (Continuous Sparring, MMA (Controlled), and Submission Grappling). Attached is an event flier for your reference and distribution. If you have any questions, e-mail or call me at 205-9133. Mahalo,

Sigung Trent Sera
Sera's Kajukenbo

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