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Mayhem At The Mansion
Kauai Cage Match 14
(Kilohana Carriage House, Lihue, Kauai)

World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship: Hawaii Trials
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(McKinley H.S. Gym)

Reuben "Cobrinha" Charles Seminar
(Ku Lokahi Wrestling Club)


8th Annual Clint Shelton Memorial Amateur Boxing Event
(Palolo District Park Gym)
(Amateur Boxing)

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

Eternal Submission Tournament
(Sub Grappling)

Toughman Xtreme Fighting Championships
(Boxing, Kickboxing, XMA, MMA)
(Hilo Civic Center, Hilo)

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

King of the Cage: Mana
(Blaisdell Arena)

Worlds Master Senior Championship
(The Pyramid, Long Beach, CA)

Destiny: Na Koa
(Blaisdell Arena)

Toughman Hawaii
(Hilo Civic Ctr)

Warpath to Mayhem:
Rumble at the Resort
(Kauai Beach Resort, Lihue, Kauai)

King of the Mat
(Submission Grappling)

Maui Open
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Lahaina Civic Center, Lahaina)

Sera's Kajukenbo Martial Arts Tournament
(Continuous Sparring, MMA (Controlled), and Sub. Grappling)
(War Memorial Gym, Wailuku, Maui)

King of the Cage
(Blaisdell Arena)

Vendetta 5
(Waipahu Filcom Center)

State of Hawaii BJJ Championship
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Blaisdell Exhibition Hall)

(Blaisdell Exhibition Hall)

Man Up & Stand Up
(Blaisdell Exhibition Hall)

Toughman Hawaii Presents; King Of The Ring
(Edith Kanakaole Tennis Stadium, Hilo)

Scrappler's Fest
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Island School, Lihue, Kauai)

The Quest For Champions
Martial Arts Tournament 2012
(Sport-Pankration, Submission Grappling, Continuous Sparring)
(St. Louis High School Gym)

Vendetta 4
(Waipahu Filcom Center)

King of the Ring
(Waipahu Filcom)

Just Scrap XVI
(Maui War Memorial Gym, Wailuku)

(Kickboxing & MMA)
(The Waterfront, Aloha Tower)

Amateur Boxing Event
Smoker Fundraiser
(Palolo District Park Gym)

Man Up & Stand Up
(Waipahu Filcom, Waipahu)

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

3/29/12 - 4/1/12
Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship
(Irvine, CA)

Warpath to Mayhem:
Rumble at the Resort
(Kauai Beach Resort, Lihue, Kauai)

Vendetta 3
(Kickboxing, Triple Threat)
(Waipahu Filcom, Waipahu)

Toughman Hawaii: Challengers
(Hilo Civic, Hilo)

Amateur Boxing Event
(Palolo District Park Gym)

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

ProElite MMA
(Blaisdell Arena)

Polynesia International BJJ Tournament
(King Intermediate, Kaneohe)

Toughman Hawaii
(Hilo Civic Center, Hilo)
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December 2012 News Part 2

O2 Martial Arts Academy provides 7 days a week training! Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu classes taught by Black Belts Kaleo Hosaka and Chris & Mike Onzuka

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

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

We just started a Wrestling program in May taught by Cedric Yogi.

Kids Classes are also available!

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O2 Martial Arts features Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu taught by Relson Gracie Black Belts Chris and Mike Onzuka and Kaleo Hosaka 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 competitor 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.

Our wrestling program is headed by Cedric Yogi who was previously the head coach of the Pearl City High School Wrestling Team.

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Mix and match your classes so you can try all the martial arts classes offered at O2!

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!

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After UFC on FX 6 Demolition, Hector Lombard Anxious to Get His Hands on Michael Bisping

After UFC on FX 6, Hector Lombard made his claim that he wants to put an end to his feud with Michael Bisping by settling the score in the Octagon.

Since before Lombard’s debut in the UFC, middleweight contender Michael Bisping has been working to get under the former Judo gold medalist’s skin, and it’s worked like a charm.

“I saw Hector Lombard in the elevator yesterday and I thought someone was playing a practical joke,” Bisping said at the UFC 149 Fan Club Q&A in July. “It was like, who is this little poison dwarf? I’m like c’mon, seriously? Seriously? This is the guy with all the hype? I think he’s in the wrong weight class; there’s a 125 weight class he should be in though.”

Lombard has been chomping at the bit since July to get his hands on Bisping. After scoring a lopsided victory over Rousimar Palhares at UFC on FX 6 in Australia, the American Top Team standout told the media how he’s anxious to get in there with the Brit.

Even going as far as saying how he’d be ready next month should Belfort happen to get injured.

“I will jump in right away. I would jump in, in January,” said Lombard at the UFC on FX 6 post-fight press conference. “Let’s see what the UFC and their owners are planning. It’s up to the UFC, but I would really like to make that fight happen.”

Although Lombard’s ready to jump in on a moments notice, Bisping is fighting Vitor Belfort next month, and it looks like Lombard will have to wait it out. At the end of the day though, the rivalry between Lombard and Bisping looks like it’s only going to continue to be a heated one from here on out.

Source: MMA Weekly

TUF 16 Finale Results: Dustin Poirier Finishes Brookins With D’arce Choke

After having his five-fight winning streak ended by his title eliminator loss to “The Korean Zombie” in May, Dustin Poirier (13-2) returned in the best possible fashion submitting TUF 12 winner, Jonathan Brookins (13-6) in the opening main card fight on Saturday night at the TUF 16 Finale from The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Both fighters were straight into action with Poirier catching Brookins, who responded with a big right hand that shook Poirier.

After a big flurry of shots by both fighters against the cage, Poirier engaged in a grappling contest, but Brookins unloaded with more jabs.

The action settled down midway through the round before Poirier caught Brookins with a three-punch combination, followed by a right hand that momentarily dropped him. Smelling blood, Poirier landed with more jabs, getting Brookins to the mat and finishing him with a D’arce choke at 1:15 of round 1.

“It’s redemption, but something even cooler than that is I tried out for the TUF season that Brookins won, so this was my finale” Poirier said.

“We only have 15 minutes to get it done, it’s been seven months since I fought ‘The Korean Zombie’ and I wanted to make a statement here.”

Source: MMA Weekly

Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner Moved to UFC 155; Guillard Brands Varner a Coward

Melvin Guillard was none too happy to hear the news that his opponent Jamie Varner was out of their fight due to illness on Saturday night.

According to UFC officials, Varner was throwing up in the back room while he was trying to warm up for his fight with Guillard, and the Nevada State Athletic Commission would not allow the fight to go on.

Prior to that happening, Guillard says commission officials were checking him out in a pre-fight meeting and asked him about “greasing” after hearing allegations from Varner earlier in the night.

Then just as his warm-up got underway, Guillard was informed that Varner was out of the fight, and their bout was cancelled. Needless to say despite Varner’s apparent illness, Guillard wasn’t buying it.

“I think what he done tonight was very cowardly. I saw the look in his eyes at weigh-ins, he didn’t want to fight me. I’ll just leave it at that, I’m not going to sit here and bash the guy, I have a level of respect for him as a person, but as a fighter I lost all respect for him,” said Guillard when speaking to Fuel TV.

Following the cancellation of their bout, UFC officials announced that the plan is for Guillard and Varner to move to UFC 155 in two weeks time out in Las Vegas.

Guillard had no plans of facing Varner after tonight’s situation, but obviously when the UFC wants something to happen, they can usually get it done.

For his part however, Guillard says the UFC might want to get some back-ups ready because he’s not sure Varner will be there.

“I just hope he don’t back out again,” said Guillard. “They might want to have me some other guys lined up to make weight just in case he backs out again.”

Source: MMA Weekly

Five fighters whose fortunes changed

With both the Australian and American versions of Ultimate Fighter finishing up, leading to televised finals on Friday and Saturday night, the weekend theme turned out to be a lot of lesser known fighters producing matches that far exceeded almost any expectations.

Colton Smith, a U.S Army Ranger out of Fort Hood, Tex., won the U.S. version of the show in a welterweight tournament, and then hinted at a move to lightweight. On the other side of the world, lightweight Norman Parke and welterweight Robert Whittaker took Australian honors. Whittaker, from Sydney, Australia, bested Bradley Scott of England in the most notable of the three fights. But at this point it's way too early to even speculate on where any of the three will fit in going forward.

A number of other fighters on the card had notable performances, as they are trying to grab the brass ring. So let's look at five weekend notables:

RUSTAM KHABILOV - A lot of Russian fighters have been brought into the major U.S. promotions sporting impressive win-loss records, but they have had mixed results. But few people have opened eyes as quickly as the former Combat Sambo world champion did on Saturday.

Khabilov (15-1) took on Vinc Pichel from season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter. Pichel came into the house last year with a 7-0 record, with every fight ending via knockout. Khabilov got behind Pichel, and threw three consecutive back suplexes. While suplexes in MMA fights are crowd pleasers, there is the argument that they take a lot of strength, use up a lot of energy, and often aren't worth the effort. But Khabilov's throws were not only a great visual, but they were finishers, with the third knocking Pichel out.

It's way too early to know where Khabilov, now training at Greg Jackson's camp in Albuquerque, N.M., will fit in. But on a weekend with almost 30 fights on four televised shows, a lot of newcomers blended into the scenery. But whether everyone remembers his name yet or not, everyone watching Fuel will have a clear memory of the Russian with the suplexes.

HECTOR LOMBARD - Lombard came into UFC on July 21 as the unbeaten Bellator middleweight champion. He had one of the longest unbeaten streaks in the sport, dating back 25 fights. He walked in with people talking about a potential showdown with Anderson Silva. And when it was over, all the talk was gone.

He came in with some questions. The first was how he would fare against the higher level of competition that he really hadn't been tested by in years, and there were questions regarding stamina. He had a number of explosive knockouts. And even though he hadn't lost, in fights that got into the later rounds, he slowed down greatly.

He debuted against Tim Boetsch, a tough, durable guy who figured to give an indication of what level he's at.
The end result had people almost immediately writing him off.

But Lombard was completely different from his usual self. Instead of coming out and exploding, he did almost nothing on offense. The only thing that kept him in the fight is Boetsch didn't do much more. Boetsch got the decision, and while it could be argued Lombard deserved it, he hardly looked like a title contender nor an entertaining fighter.

A few weeks later, Lombard said that came into the fight with a fractured sternum that kept him out of training for six weeks. While the usual reaction in the fight game is that everyone comes in hurt, and if you agree to fight, after losing, you shouldn't then start citing injuries as excuses.

Still, the Cuban-born former Olympic judoka was so completely different in the cage than in every other fight that no other explanation, even the dreaded first-time UFC jitters, could explain his performance.

Put in there with a dangerous Rousimar Palhares (23-5) on Friday in his adopted home country of Australia, it was immediate in Friday's match that Lombard was not a paper tiger. He dropped the Brazilian leglock specialist three times in 3:38 before finishing him with punches on the ground. He immediately issued a challenge to Michael Bisping. With Dana White saying Bisping is likely to get the next shot at Silva if he beats Vitor Belfort, Lombard isn't likely to get his wish right away.

But he did largely erase the Boetsch match memory with his performance. The winner of the Dec. 29 Alan Belcher vs. Yushin Okami bout, or Strikeforce's top middleweights coming over, like Luke Rockhold or Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, could be next in the cards. At 32-3-1, a win there would likely elevate him to a consensus top three contender status.

ROY NELSON - In the early moments of Saturday's main event, Nelson (19-7) looked like he was in for a tough night with Matt Mitrione (5-2). Mitrione, with a huge reach and height edge, and good movement, showed greatly improved striking at first, landing a strong attack of body and head kicks mixed with punches and elbows. But, as he's shown before, the man whose photo should be in the dictionary next to the phrase, "You can't judge a book by its cover," is almost impossible to put away, and all he needs is one shot to end it. He landed that shot - a strong uppercut - and Mitrione's night ended in just 2:58.

As for where Nelson goes next, it's a tough one. His big claim to fame was going the distance with champion Junior Dos Santos, but he also lost all three rounds and never had Dos Santos in any jeopardy. He took a brutal beating from Fabricio Werdum, a fight that was most notable in proving just how difficult he is to finish, since he again lasted three rounds but at no point was a threat to win.

He's only been stopped once in 26 fights, years back by Andrei Arlovski at a time his game wasn't nearly at the level it is now. If his original opponent for Saturday, rival Ultimate Fighter coach Shane Carwin can get healthy, that would be a natural fight, since it already has three months of buildup. History has shown with Matt Hughes vs. Matt Serra and Rampage Jackson vs. Rashad Evans, that if the coaches fight gets delayed by a few months, fan interest still remains. But Nelson said on Saturday that he's moved past Carwin.

At 36, Nelson seems like a very dangerous opponent that young stars on the rise would be best served avoiding. But he's also someone who is unlikely to be a true threat to the championship level fighters.

UFC has plenty of heavy hitters in the heavyweight division, like Mark Hunt, Travis Browne or perhaps Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva that fit into the same category, and could keep him busy for the next year.

DUSTIN POIRIER - Poirier, at 23, seemed on the verge of a featherweight title shot when he was derailed by The Korean Zombie, Chan Sung Jung, on May 15, in a strong fight-of-the-year contender. Poirier lost that one via D'Arce choke in the fourth round.

On Saturday, former Ultimate Fighter champion Jonathan Brookins (14-6) came out and hurt him early, and looked like he was going to knock him all the way to the back of the featherweight line.

But Poirier (13-2) regrouped, and turned things around late in the first round, finishing Brookins with the same D'Arce choke, showing the truest application of the phrase learning from ones mistakes.

While the featherweight division doesn't have the list of marquee names the heavier divisions have, it has really grown as far as depth, particularly UFC star lightweights like Frankie Edgar and Clay Guida moving down. The division has four big fights over the next few months. The first pits Nik Lentz, another former UFC lightweight, against Diego Nunes on Jan. 19 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The next two are Guida vs. Hatsu Hioki, and Erik Koch vs. Ricardo Lamas on Jan. 26 in Chicago.

The final one has Dennis Siver vs. Cub Swanson on Feb. 16 in London, England.

Chad Mendes, a former No. 1 contender whose career record has been flawless aside from his title match loss to Jose Aldo, finished late sub Yaotzin Meza on Friday night in Australia, and can be argued is still No. 2 in the world.

MIKE PYLE - Well-known as a guy who had great skills in the gym but didn't fully show his ability in the cage, Pyle (24-8-1), after coming from behind to finish James Head (9-3) after a devastating knee in just 1:55, is starting to live up to his insider reputation.

But at 37, time is running out on his trying to make his move in the welterweight division. Pyle walked the walk in the cage with an impressive finish after being hurt early. He also talked the talk, using expletives to decry any welterweight rankings that don't have him already in the top ten, a category most probably wouldn't have him in just yet.

He's won six of his last seven, losing only to Rory MacDonald. But he still needs a win over an elite level fighter to make a case for that level of a ranking. But he did make enough of a statement that he may at least get that chance.

Source: MMA Fighting

Ross Pearson Topples Australian George Sotiropoulos Down Under in UFC on FX 6 Headliner

George Sotiropoulos played with fire, and Ross Pearson made sure he got burned.

Pearson (14-6, 6-3 UFC) wiped out his Australian rival with third-round punches in the UFC on FX 6 main event on Friday at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 winner dropped the hammer on Sotiropoulos 41 seconds into round three.

An Alliance MMA representative, Pearson had the Australian in trouble in all three rounds. A right hook from the stout Englishman resulted in a wobbly-legged and glassy-eyed Sotiropoulos (14-5, 7-3 UFC) dancing across the Octagon in a desperate attempt to regain his bearings. Somehow, he weathered the assault, took down Pearson with less than a minute to go in the frame and nearly secured a rear-naked choke.

Sotiropoulos never again got the fight to the ground, and the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt was a sitting duck on the feet. Pearson floored him with a left hook in the second round and then finished him in the third, as he put away Sotiropoulos with a heavy left jab-right hook combination that knocked the dazed Aussie off his feet.

“I was just patient. I knew shots that I wanted would land,” Pearson said. “It’s like I’ve said all along: I just needed to touch him. I set it up and listened to my coaches. I wasn’t too aggressive, like I usually am. I just took my time and made him miss and saw the openings.”

Lombard Blitzes, Levels Palhares

Lombard chopped Palhares down.
Former Bellator Fighting Championships titleholder Hector Lombard wiped out Rousimar Palhares with a series of savage punches 3:38 into the first round of their middleweight showcase. Lombard (32-3-1, 1-1 UFC) has recorded 21 wins in his last 22 outings.

Outside of a few leg kicks, Palhares (14-5, 7-4 UFC) wanted no part of the Cuban judoka on the feet. Lombard knocked down the Brazilian leg lock guru three times. His final salvo -- an explosive left hook, right hook, left hook combination followed by thudding standing-to-ground punches -- left Palhares unconscious at his feet.

“I started my career here, in this country, so all of my wins go to Australia,” Lombard said. “My first MMA fight was on the Gold Coast -- in this city. Getting my first win in the UFC [here], it means a lot.”

Whittaker Earns Welterweight ‘Ultimate Fighter’ Tag

Whittaker decisioned Scott.
Backed by a boisterous Australian crowd, the Sydney-based Robert Whittaker captured a unanimous verdict from Brad Scott in “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” welterweight final. All three judges scored it 29-28 for Whittaker (10-2, 1-0 UFC), who went the distance in victory for the first time as a professional.

“The [UFC] contract is a bonus,” Whittaker said, “but the real joy was just defending my country and making everyone proud.”

His game plan marked by short bursts of straight punches, Whittaker drove his counterpart to the ground with blows with roughly 90 seconds to go in the first round and swarmed for the finish. Scott (8-2, 0-1 UFC) defended well and bounced back in round two. There, he struck for a takedown and moved to Whittaker’s back, hooks in. A choke never materialized, and Whittaker eventually returned to his feet.

In the decisive third round, Whittaker again unleashed multi-punch combinations while moving forward. He mixed in standing elbows for good measure, one of them opening a cut near Scott’s hairline.

“I knew the second round could have gone either way, and I wasn’t going to [let it go] to a fourth,” Whittaker said. “I just wanted to seal that final round and let them know who won it.”

Parke Outduels Fletcher in Lightweight Final

Takedowns and positional dominance carried Norman Parke to a unanimous decision over Colin Fletcher in the lightweight final of “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes.” All three cageside judges scored it for Parke (17-2, 1-0 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.

A judo black belt, Parke negated his foe’s eight-inch reach advantage by bullying into clinches against the cage. From there, the Northern Ireland export delivered his takedowns and built his lead. Parke did not do much damage on the ground, as he was content to pass guard and hunt submissions.

His best chance to finish it came and went in the second round, where he mounted Fletcher (8-2, 0-1 UFC) and ultimately transitioned to his back in search of the rear-naked choke. Though Parke’s advances failed, he methodically tightened his grip on victory.

“Nothing has ever compared to this,” said Parke, who finds himself on a seven-fight winning streak. “This has been the best experience of my life, apart from meeting my fiancé.”

Source: Sherdog

Pros react to TUF 16 Finale, Nelson vs. Mitrione, Barry vs. del Rosario

As a general rule of thumb, it's almost always a good sign when a fight card goes five hours between readings of the judges' scorecards. In the case of Saturday night's The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale, which featured a staggering total of nine knockouts and submissions, that rule proved to be correct.

So perhaps it was fitting that UFC President Dana White's heftiest antagonist, Roy "Big Country" Nelson planted the most violent of exclamation points on a weekend of back-to-back UFC events. Nelson dropped Matt Mitrione with a thunderous combination midway through the first round of TUF 16 Finale's main event, and the laundry list of professional fighters watching the action live had plenty to say about it, along with Colton Smith's TUF dominance and Pat Barry's emotional return to the win column.



@roynelsonmma great fight strategy always pays off.Congratulations!
— Royce Gracie (@realroyce) December 16, 2012


BooooooM that's more like it ;) that's the way big country ?
— Brad Pickett (@One_Punch) December 16, 2012


People may not like the way he looks but Fat Boy can fight. #UFConFX
— Jason High (@KCBanditMMA) December 16, 2012


I <3 big country
— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) December 16, 2012


Cholesterol should be banned as illegal substance in the UFC! How do the UFC fans feel about this?
— Siyar The Great (@SiyarTheGreat) December 16, 2012

Big night for Roy. Earlier he was announced as McDonalds international worker of the year!
— Siyar The Great (@SiyarTheGreat) December 16, 2012


Oh, I am SO growing a beard now @ufc !!!!
— Julie Kedzie (@julesk_fighter) December 16, 2012


Mitrione should've stepped back for a second to put his mouthpiece back in. Might've been able to take that shot with a lil more protection
— John Moraga (@chicanojohn) December 16, 2012


@roynelsonmma is trained by @jeffmayweather1!!!
— King Mo (@KingMoFH) December 16, 2012


Man when Roy Nelson took off his shirt dandruff went flying. That was pretty nasty.
— Urijah Faber (@UrijahFaber) December 16, 2012


"Roy Nelson could be like Santa Claus.. in like... 30n years." #GFwatchingMMA
— Joe Lauzon (@JoeLauzon) December 16, 2012



Congrats @coltonsmithmma winner of TUF season 16! I know @mikeyricci will come back stronger. Both men are warriors & should be proud! #fb
— Nate Marquardt (@NathanMarquardt) December 16, 2012


Oh little gray shorts, how do I love thee?
— Julie Kedzie (@julesk_fighter) December 16, 2012


I just witnessed this fighting couple hug each other for 15min. It was so beautiful!
— Siyar The Great (@SiyarTheGreat) December 16, 2012


Great job by Colton in the fight. Horrible job in accepting his #Harley Dana looked a little pissed at him not paying attention.
— Yves Edwards (@thugjitsumaster) December 16, 2012


Wow Colton Smith is all over Rory MacDonald sorry I'm mean Mike Ricci (same stylist) like a Cheap Suits! Lol #TUFFinale #UFC
— John Maguire (@MaguireTheOne) December 16, 2012


Man is it possible to win a fight with the guy falling asleep, and I mean not by a choke just by being sooo boring lol
— Brad Pickett (@One_Punch) December 16, 2012


Once again, wrestling is the most effective yet the most boring.
— Duane Ludwig (@DUANEBANGCOM) December 16, 2012


"He reminds me of... that guy from Maroon 5..." #GFWatchingMMA about Ricci
— Joe Lauzon (@JoeLauzon) December 16, 2012


It's awesome to see Kim Winslow's son become the Ultimate Fighter this season. @ufc @ufconfox
— Ulysses Gomez (@uselessgomez) December 16, 2012


Thank you everyone for the support. @mikeyricci great job and you'll be back at 155lbs soon enough!
— Firas Zahabi (@Firas_Zahabi) December 16, 2012



Who doesn't root for Pat Barry right? What a great guy!
— Bas Rutten (@BasRuttenMMA) December 16, 2012


I think I just woke up Rachel from screaming after Pat Barry's KO! Sorry darlin but whilst you are up watch this brutal KO
— Andy Ogle (@thelittleaxe) December 16, 2012


Nice words Patt Berry (@hypeordie)
— Carlos Condit (@CarlosCondit) December 16, 2012


Crazy ko by @hypeordie #ufc
— Sean Pierson (@seanpierson) December 16, 2012


That just ruined my night ... At least my daughter dosnt understand what she just saw happen to her uncle Shane.
— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) December 16, 2012


Well said @hypeordie And great fight.
— Stipe Miocic (@smiocic) December 16, 2012


@hypeordie great job you earned it!
— Leonard Garcia (@badboygarcia) December 16, 2012


Just posted a photo
— Pat Barry (@HypeOrDie) December 16, 2012

Source: MMA Fighting


Roy Nelson Done with Shane Carwin After He Pulled Out of Two Previous Fights

Roy Nelson didn’t get to fight his fellow Ultimate Fighter 16 coach on Saturday, but he came away with a victory nonetheless.

Originally slated to face Shane Carwin at the TUF 16 finale, Nelson ended up fighting Matt Mitrione instead after his original opponent fell out of the fight with a knee injury.

It’s the second time Nelson and Carwin have been scheduled to face off, with neither bout actually taking place. The original fight was supposed to be at UFC 125, but Nelson was forced off that card with a back injury.

Nelson says at this point it’s two strikes and you’re out, and he’s not interested in being matched up with Carwin for a third time.

“I’m focusing on somebody else besides Shane (Carwin). I’ve already been down that road twice, and I’m already over (it). We already know whose the best coach cause my guy won,” said Nelson when speaking to Fuel TV.

“His guy” would be Colton Smith, who Nelson coached during season 16 of the reality show that aired on FX. Nelson says he had all the confidence in the world that Smith would beat Team Carwin’s Mike Ricci, and sure enough he did with a unanimous decision victory just moments before his former coach knocked out Matt Mitrione.

“I knew Colton was going to win and the other person, if Jon (Manley) would have been Colton, Jon would have won, so Team Nelson,” said Nelson.

There isn’t any indication who Nelson will face next, but with his dedication to first round knockouts and a growing heavyweight division, “Big Country” will continue to be a hot commodity for the UFC.

Source: MMA Weekly

TUF 16 Finale Aftermath: Roy Nelson's done with Shane Carwin

LAS VEGAS -- If you're expecting Roy Nelson to wait around for Shane Carwin, well, forget about it. As far as "Big Country" is concerned, his first-round TKO of Matt Mitrione on Saturday night was the capper of his entire "Ultimate Fighter" experience, Carwin included.

"I'm focusing on somebody besides Shane," Nelson said. "We've already been down that road twice, and we already know who was the best coach, because my guy won."

The 37-year-old Carwin has been out of action since his June 2011 loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 131. Carwin had to pull out of the fight against his fellow Ultimate Fighter 16 coach about four weeks ago. And while Carwin just can't seem to catch a break, as far as Nelson's concerned it is time to move on.

Asked at the post-fight press conference if he felt that he missed out by not getting the payoff of fighting Carwin at the end, Nelson said.

"No I think it's more that Shane missed out. ... I'm fully past it, like I said before."

Meanwhile, defeating a replacement fighter who had half a training camp in Mitrione doesn't exactly vault you up the rankings, but Saturday night's fight at the Joint at the Hard Rock still demonstrated Nelson's advancement as a mixed martial artist. He started out his career relying on his wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and submissions, then switched to swinging for the fences. Not without reason, as all five of his UFC wins have come via knockout.

But Saturday night, Nelson looked like a more evolved striker that the fighter who would simply take damage while waiting on his opening for a one-punch knockout.

"I think it's just one of those things - God blessed me," Nelson said. "I used to submit everybody. But when I got my first knockout, I was like, 'This is so much easier than this wrestling and jiu-jitsu stuff.' I was looking to pick him apart and do it in the later rounds and show all the critics that a fat guy can go five rounds.

"It's the first time I've thrown combos - that's why I can't wait to fight Junior Dos Santos or Cain [Velasquez]."

That remains to be seen, to be polite. But with three wins in his past four fights, it's clear that UFC president Dana White won't be able to shake himself of one of his least favorite fighters any time soon.

TUF 16 Finale Quotes

"Jamie Varner was throwing up like 'The Exorcist' back there. He still wanted to fight, but the doctor wouldn't let him." -- Dana White, on the illness which forced the postponement of Varner vs. Melvin Guillard to UFC 155.

"I had success on the show. I fought four times and I won four times. All four times I was undersized, every time I was in the clinch I felt it." -- Mike Ricci, who says he's going back to lightweight after his loss to Colton Smith.

"It was funny, he hit me and I saw those cartoons flash. When I woke up, I didn't really know what was going on, and I was like ‘why am I thinking about Spongebob?' -- Mike Pyle, who saw cartoon sponges when rocked by James Head.

"They're doing what they have to do to get recognition or whatever. I don't blame them, I would to if I was them. I'd be doing everything I could to try to make myself look like the UFC, or advertise anywhere near the UFC. ... It's not a big deal. More power to them. I don't blame them". -- White, on Bellator's advertisements during UFC events.

"If you have kids, go hug them like it's your last day." -- Pat Barry, referencing Friday's tragedy in Connecticut.

Good Call

To the Nevada Athletic Commission, for pulling the plug on Varner vs. Guillard. If Varner really was as sick as everyone was saying, there was no real reason to put him in the Octagon, even if he did insist he still wanted to fight. Much better to move the bout to UFC 155 in two weeks and presumably have the two fight at full strength.

Bad Call

It was a truly bizarre sequence in the opening moments of the second round of the Smith-Ricci fight. First, Smith appeared to land a low blow of a kick to Ricci. Referee Steve Mazzagatti let the action continue. Then, when Ricci charged in after Smith, Ricci appeared to nail Smith with a punch directly to the throat. Fight on, said Mazzagatti. Granted, this was the most interesting sequence of the fight. But that said, while I'm not generally one to pick on Mazzagatti, these things do seem to happen in fights he calls more often than most, and they lend credence to his critics.

Stock Up: Mike Pyle

The rap on "Quicksand" used to be that he was an ace in the gym, but could never quite put it all together in the arena. At this point, though, that reputation should be sunk. Pyle impressed in his victory over Head, using veteran poise to shake off a big uppercut and rally for a TKO victory.

With that, the Las Vegas resident has won three straight fights, all first-round finishes. He's also won six of seven, with the only loss in that stretch to Rory McDonald. In his postfight interview, Pyle said he belongs in the welterweight top 10. Whether that's true, he's earned the right to test himself against a top-10 fighter.

"I'm here, I'm trying to do the best I can, and at 37 I'm doing better and better," Pyle said.

Stock Down: Shane Del Rosario

I'm sorry to say this, because he's by all accounts a pretty good dude, but as of now, it looks like Del Rosario just hasn't been able to shake off the effects of the car accident which sidelined him for more than a year. Del Rosario was 11-0 and coming off a strong win over Lavar Johnson in a Strikeforce Grand Prix alternates bout when he suffered a spinal injury when his car was rear-ended while he was waiting at a red light in Orange County. Since returning, his striking just hasn't looked up to snuff in a pair of losses, the first a TKO loss to Stipe Miocic at UFC 146 and the second brutal KO at the hands of Pat Barry last night. Maybe you give Del Rosario another shot at a lower-ranked UFC heavyweight, or maybe the best option is for him to go to smaller shows for awhile and rebuild his confidence. But his fights are becoming tough to watch.

Point to ponder

There's a train of thought out there which suggest that the UFC's post-fight bonus system is weighted in favor of the headliners. So it's worth noting that the Fight of the Night awards on the past three cards have gone to the opening bout of the preliminary card. Saturday night's award went to the brawl between Tim Elliott and Jared Papazian. One night earlier and halfway across the world, Cody Donovan and Nick Penner took the honors. This came a week after Scott Jorgensen's sensational comeback over John Albert at UFC on FOX 5. Jorgensen also took submission of the night honors with his victory. And it's not like these were bad fight cards and the only choice was to give the award to the opener, either. If this keeps up, we'll probably start hearing the White is biased in favor of the Facebook fighters.

Fight I Want to See Next: Roy Nelson vs. Pat Barry

There's a logjam at heavyweight. Junior dos Santos is fighting Cain Velasquez. Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira are off coaching the next TUF: Brazil. Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett are fighting on the next Strikeforce card. Stefan Struve is fighting Mark Hunt, Travis Browne is injured, and who knows when Carwin will return. Granted, this leaves Frank Mir unaccounted for. But, Nelson really doesn't move back up in the pecking order much by defeating Mitrione, Barry never backs down from a challenge and is looking to build his momentum off Saturday's win, and the fight sure would seem to promise from fireworks. So, why not?

Source: MMA Fighting

TUF 16 Finale Results: Colton Smith Dominates Mike Ricci to Become The Ultimate Fighter

US Army Combatant instructor Colton Smith (3-1) has become The Ultimate Fighter Season 16 champion with a three-round unanimous decison win over Canadian Mike Ricci (7-3) at the TUF 16 Finale from The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The judges awarded the fight unanimously to Smith (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).

The fight went to the ground early, after Ricci just missed with a leg kick and followed up with ground and pound. Smith returned to his feet and tied the fight up with a body lock controlling Ricci and got the takedown.

Smith took Ricci’s back and locked in his underhooks before switching to ground and pound, looking to flatten Ricci out. Ricci escaped the choke and the fight returned to the feet, but after little action Smith scored another takedown to end the round.

Ricci was kicked low in the opening stages of round two, but after the referee took no action and refused to step in, the fight continued with Smith securing another takedown. As Ricci looked to stand back up, Smith took his back, attempting to lock in a rear naked choke, but again Ricci broke free.

Smith once again took him back to the mat where Smith controlled to the bell.

With a Ricci knockout needed in the final frame, Smith had other ideas, slamming Ricci against the cage, scoring another takedown, again switching it up between ground and pound and submission attempts.

Ricci scrambled, taking Smith’s back inside the final minute and locked in an armbar, but Smith escaped, holding on for a decision win.

“It’s sweet. I wanted to finish the fight, but Ricci is tough as nails and I couldn’t finish him,” commented Smith after the fight, before adding, “What the troops do overseas is hard, this is easy.”

Source: MMA Weekly

Johny Hendricks vs. Jake Ellenberger at UFC 158; St-Pierre vs. Diaz and Condit vs. MacDonald Set

Johny HendricksThe news about UFC 158 has come fast and furious over the past week with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz expected to headline the card and former interim champion Carlos Condit matching up against GSP teammate Rory MacDonald.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship confirmed both of those bouts during the TUF 16 Finale broadcast on Saturday night, but surprisingly revealed another match-up of blockbuster welterweights. Widely regarded top contender Johny Hendricks pairs with Jake Ellenberger to round out welterweight-fest 2013.

Hendricks notched himself as the top contender with a win over Martin Kampmann at UFC 154, while St-Pierre marked his comeback with a win over Condit in the main event.

Nearly everyone’s focus shifted to a possible superfight between St-Pierre and UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. As hopes for that fight started to fade, most believed Hendricks would be next up for GSP at 170 pounds, but much to everyone’s surprise, and to a shocked Hendricks, St-Pierre instead called for and received a vendetta fight with currently suspended welterweight Nick Diaz.

“There’s been a lot of talk about who I should fight next but this was really the only choice for me,” said St-Pierre. “He’s made it personal and I personally can’t wait.”

Hendricks was crushed, angered, dismayed.

He’ll quickly buck up and step back in the Octagon any, despite feeling like he was kicked to the curb, by stepping in with Ellenberger, another of the top welterweights in the world, at UFC 158.

Also added to the UFC 158 fight card on Saturday was a middleweight match-up between Patrick Cote and Alessio Sakara.

Source: MMA Weekly

Henderson-Machida, Faber-Menjivar Made Official for UFC 157

A fight between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida was made official as the co-main event for UFC 157 on Feb. 23, the company announced on Thursday.

The match will be the lead-in for the promotion’s first ever female headliner, when Ronda Rousey defends her women’s UFC title against Liz Carmouce at Southern California’s Honda Center.

The company also made a bantamweight bout between Urijah Faber and Ivan Menjivar official for the card.

Henderson (29-8) hasn’t fought since defeating former light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 139 in Novemeber 2011. The former Pride and Strikeforce champ was scheduled to meet Jon Jones at UFC 151 in September, but was forced to withdraw from the fight after sustaining a knee injury in training. Henderson’s absence from the card prompted Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, to cancel the event — a company-first since acquiring the MMA organization in 2001.

Machida (18-3) was last seen knocking out Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 4 in August. “The Dragon” recently told that he anticipates Henderson to be a tough opponent, and feels the winner of their fight will be in line for a shot at the light heavyweight title.

Tickets for the event will go on sale Friday, Dec. 21 at 10 a.m.

Source: Gracie Magazine

Johny Hendricks' take on Jake Ellenberger fight: Just win, so GSP will have nowhere to hide

Johny Hendricks may not like the way things turned out for him recently, but he's moving on. At least for now.

On Saturday's TUF 16 Finale broadcast, the UFC officially announced that Hendricks will meet Jake Ellenberger on March 16 in Montreal. Hendricks was hoping to fight Georges St-Pierre next for the UFC welterweight title, but GSP elected to fight Nick Diaz on the same card. asked Hendricks how the UFC convinced him to take the fight, and the welterweight contender, who initially threatened to wait on the sidelines until he was granted a title shot, jokingly wrote via text message, "They made me I guess lol."

He went on to say that his manager dealt with the UFC in putting the fight together and that his mindset going into the welterweight bout is clear and focused.

"(I) just have to win and GSP has nowhere to hide from me.

"Man, he's scared. That's why he wants me to keep fighting because maybe I'll lose and then he won't have to retire (before fighting me)."

Hendricks said he believes GSP would be forced to retire after fighting him or would choose to retire before fighting him.

Source: MMA Fighting


Dana White Says Fighters Absolutely Turned Down Fight With Ronda Rousey – “That’s a Fact”

Sometimes MMA can be a serious game of “he said, she said”.

This time around that’s literally the truth when it comes to the opponents who did or didn’t turn down the opportunity to face UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey at UFC 157.

Both Rousey and UFC President Dana White revealed last weekend upon the announcement of her fight against Liz Carmouche, that only she stepped up to the plate and asked for the fight while other notable competitors turned it down.

Two names in particular were mentioned – former Strikeforce women’s champion Miesha Tate and former Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann.

Within days of the news that they had supposedly turned down the fight, both took up in their own defense and denied that they had ever been offered the shot at Rousey, much less turned it down.

Dana White’s not buying it however, and says there’s nothing wrong with turning down a fight against Rousey, he gets it, but don’t lie about it and say you weren’t offered the shot.

“Ronda Rousey is a bad ass, she’s the champ, her opponent stepped up to the plate and wanted this fight with her when others didn’t, I don’t give a (expletive) what they say. That’s a fact,” White said on Saturday night following the TUF 16 finale.

Speaking specifically about McMann’s claim that she was never offered the fight, White says he respects her decision to turn down the bout against Rousey, but he’s not backing down on the fact that she was offered the fight and she said “thanks, but no thanks”.

“She’s definitely one of the girls that’s going to be in it, but she said she didn’t say it, but she said it. She wants a fight or two before she fights Ronda Rousey, nothing to be embarrassed about, Ronda Rousey’s nasty. You want a couple fights before you fight her? That’s no big deal,” White said about McMann.

“But don’t walk around talking (expletive) that you didn’t say it, when you did say it.”

Currently, Rousey vs. Carmouche is the only women’s fight scheduled in the UFC, but more bouts are likely to be announced in the coming weeks. When and where McMann or Tate fit in is still to be determined.

Source: MMA Weekly

UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz – Bad Blood Runs Deep

UFC 158 St Pierre vs Diaz PosterIt’s a fight that’s been more than a year in the making, but on March 16 Georges St-Pierre will finally face Nick Diaz at UFC 158 in Montreal.

This may be the most personal fight St-Pierre’s ever faced, and Nick Diaz will look to take the welterweight title away from one of the most dominant champions the sport has ever known.

In addition to St-Pierre vs. Diaz, the co-main event features a welterweight rematch between Carlos Condit and Rory MacDonald. Condit decimated MacDonald in the third round of their fight in 2010 after the young Canadian got the best of him through the first 10 minutes.

Condit won by TKO, and now MacDonald get his chance at revenge.

Also on the card, top welterweight contender Johny Hendricks will look to cement his spot atop the division’s contender race when he takes on fellow wrestler, the heavy-handed Jake Ellenberger.

Canadian Patrick Cote will also be on the card as he faces Alessio Sakara in a rematch of their original fight at UFC 154 that ended in disqualification after Sakara blasted Cote with illegal shots to the back of the head.


MAIN EVENT: Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz

Carlos Condit vs. Rory MacDonald
Jake Ellenberger vs. Johny Hendricks
Patrick Cote vs. Alessio Sakara

Source: MMA Weekly

Michael Bisping “Probably” Gets Next Shot at Anderson Silva with a Win at UFC on FX 7

Michael Bisping - UFC on Fox 2Michael Bisping may have received the news he’s long waited to hear, but he still has to get another win before he can celebrate.

The former Ultimate Fighter winner and top ten middleweight is on the cusp of a shot at Anderson Silva and the UFC middleweight title, if he gets through Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX in January.

UFC President Dana White confirmed on Saturday following the end of the TUF 16 finale post fight press conference that Bisping would “probably” get the next crack at Silva should he beat Belfort in his next fight.

Bisping has long rallied for his shot at the UFC middleweight title, and with Silva currently on the shelf awaiting word on his next fight, the brash Brit appears next in line.

Of course next in line is still a ways off from a guaranteed shot at the belt because Bisping still has to go through Vitor Belfort, and that will be no easy task.

If he is successful however, it could set up a huge middleweight title fight between the greatest champion the UFC has ever known and one of the top fighters at 185lbs, and pound-for-pound one of the most magnetic personalities in all of MMA in Michael Bisping.

First things first, Bisping faces Vitor Belfort in Brazil at UFC on FX 7, and then if he’s victorious then he can start celebrating his potential title shot.

Source: MMA Weekly

Lucas Lepri Promoted to 2nd Degree by Master Jacare

The Alliance Headquarters has been home of many champions, past and present. Many of Alliance’s greatest team members have trained, taught and been promoted on the mats in Atlanta, Georgia under Master Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti.

Today, the academy runs classes taught by Lucas Lepri who moved from New York in the beginning of 2012 to teach full time. Between teaching, training and competing, Lucas has gathered more experience in the art which showed as Jacare wrapped the white tape around the all-telling belt.

Lucas placed at major tournaments this year winning gold at the Atlanta Open and No-Gi Pan Ams and silver at the Worlds, Pan Ams and Abu Dhabi World Pro.

In response to his promotion he says, “I am glad to receive my 2nd stripe of the black belt. It’s an honor to receive it from Master Jacare. Like Jacare has said, a black belt is a white belt that never quit. Now I am going to Brazil on vacation to rest up for next year. Nothing but GOLD medals for 2013!”

In Jacare’s closing speech he announced: “It was a well deserved promotion. Lucas has been a great asset. He is an awesome person and a great instructor. He has a lot of talent and dedication. He has one of the best work ethics I have ever seen. Now we are going to celebrate our accomplishments for this year and look forward to 2013. We plan on winning all the major tournaments once again!”

Congrats to Lucas Lepri and the Alliance Atlanta team.

Source: Gracie Magazine

Criticisms of Benson Henderson's style are off base; UFC lightweight champ always delivers

Benson Henderson: Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing. There is a perception of Benson Henderson bubbling up that is just plain wrong.

The UFC lightweight champ is a great fighter that has beaten a Who's Who of the world's best lightweights and he's carried himself at all times as the kind of guy who should be promoted as one of the faces of his sport.

But as he prepares to defend his title Saturday in yet another very difficult match against Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC on Fox 5 at Key Arena in Seattle, Henderson has had to fend off accusations that he's not a compelling fighter.

Diaz called him a "round-winner," a pointed jab that has no merit. Henderson has been involved in some of the greatest fights in recent memory, including his 2009 match with Donald Cerrone and his 2010 bout against Anthony Pettis.

He earned the UFC's No. 1 contender spot in the deep lightweight division on Nov. 12, 2011, when he bested Clay Guida in a fight that stole the show at UFC on Fox 1.

Henderson then won the title in a frantic, high-paced fight against Frankie Edgar in February at UFC 144 and then defended it against Edgar at UFC 150.

He's won Fight of the Night twice in his five UFC fights and won Fight of the Night twice and Submission of the Night once while he was competing in the now-defunct World Extreme Cagefighting.

Though the rematch with Edgar wasn't as exciting as the first fight – undoubtedly a product of the men knowing each other so well after 25 minutes in the cage together – it was hardly a snoozer.

The notion that Henderson is somehow not elite is laughably off base. He's as thoughtful in the cage as he is outside of it and that, perhaps, is where he gets into some trouble.

He's not splitting opponents open the way that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones does, but who in the sport is anywhere near as dominant as Jones? Jones is an extraordinary, special talent and virtually every fighter who ever lived would pale in comparison to him.

Henderson shouldn't apologize for anything, because he's everything the UFC wants its athletes to be.

UFC president Dana White encourages an all-out explosive style. Henderson does that, but within the parameters of a game plan.

"They encourage us to [fight exciting fights], but I'll use an analogy to the NFL," Henderson said. "In essence, they don't want games that are going to be 9-6 and are going to be won on field goal kicks. In the UFC, they want fights to be exciting. They want knockouts. They want submissions. ...

"But at the same time, you have to be smart about it. You have to get your hand raised and get the W. Look, in the NFL, if you get a four-touchdown lead in the second quarter, it's best to play it safe the rest of the way. There's no knockout rule in the NFL or they don't stop the game if a team is ahead by four touchdowns in the second quarter. It's smart in that case to play it safe. I can't take a crazy risk, but if I have a chance to finish the fight, I have to go for it because if I don't, I could be at risk later to be finished myself."

Many thought Henderson didn't deserve to win the decision over Edgar in the rematch. Yahoo! Sports had scored the first Henderson-Edgar fight 48-47 for Henderson, but had the rematch at UFC 150 scored 49-46 for Edgar.

Henderson has felt the wrath of those who felt Edgar won and who now consider him something of a paper champion. He said he's rewatched the fight and noticed mistakes he's made, but he's not apologizing for going home with the belt.

"I watched it twice, once just for fun to actually see it and then a second time to evaluate it," he said. "I wanted to see the holes I left open and the holes that he left open that I missed. That's part of being a professional and trying to learn and trying to fix mistakes.

"As far as the controversial elements of it go, I felt I did enough to win, definitely. The problem was that the first fight was a clearer, more definitive win for me. If the first fight had come second, we wouldn't be talking. We'd say, 'Oh, they had a really close first fight, but Benson clearly won the second.' But when you flip the order, the perception changes. I still think I won both of them, though."

He knows it will be a dogfight against Diaz, who has been on a roll since his return to the lightweight division.

That is just the kind of fight in which he shines.

Win or lose against Diaz, though, one thing is certain: A perception of Benson Henderson as anything other than one of the world's best, and most exciting fighters, is utter nonsense.

Source: Yahoo Sports

Dana White: Michael Bisping 'probably' gets shot at Anderson Silva with a win

LAS VEGAS -- Michael Bisping's long-awaited UFC middleweight title shot just might be in reach.

At Saturday night's TUF 16 Finale postfight news conference, UFC president Dana White indicated that if the British veteran wins his next fight, he's likely to get the next shot at Anderson Silva's crown.

"If Bisping wins, Bisping will probably will get that next shot. If not, we'll see what happens."

Of course, there's still a formidable hurdle in the "Ultimate Fighter 3" champion's path, as he'll meet former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort in the main event at UFC on FX 7 on Jan. 19 in Brazil.

But if Bisping does defeat Belfort, that would mark six wins in Bisping's past seven fights. And with Chris Weidman on the shelf for the foreseeable future, the path to a potential title shot finally seems to have cleared for Bisping (23-4) to get his long-awaited crack at the gold.

Source: MMA Fighting


Roy Nelson Caps Off TUF 16 Finale with First Round Knockout of Matt Mitrione

Before, during and after every fight Roy Nelson has inside the UFC Octagon, the commentators always love to talk about his pedigree in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Nelson certainly has one, training under the legendary Renzo Gracie, but deep down the former Ultimate Fighter winner not only has a concrete jaw, he’s got bricks in his hands.

He showed that once again with his first round knockout of Matt Mitrione at the Ultimate Fighter 16 finale show.

Taking the fight on short notice, Mitrione returned to action after more than a year off, and looked to show his improved skill set since working with the team at the Blackzilians in Florida. Mitrione definitely developed a love of kicks because he launched them early and often, aiming for Nelson’s head and body.

Nelson wasn’t backing away and outside of an early clinch where he looked for the trip takedown, it was all about the stand-up in this fight.

Mitrione looked for more precise shots, but Nelson was just trying to find his range to unload the bombs he needed to put the fight away. It didn’t take him long to find it.

Nelson cracked Mitrione with a big uppercut that rattled the former Purdue football player, and he quickly followed it up with another shot that dropped him to the canvas.

Following his opponent to the ground, Nelson opened up with a barrage of strikes as Mitrione could only roll over and wait for the fight to stop. Nelson gets another first round knockout, the fourth of his UFC career.

After the victory, Nelson disclosed that he actually didn’t start really training his striking game until 2009, although he did have several knockouts on his MMA record prior to that time. What was once a “grapple first” mentality has now shifted to his love of the knockout.

“I used to submit everybody like when I first started, but when I got my first knockout I was like this is so much easier than this wrestling and jiu-jitsu stuff,” Nelson said after the fight.

While his tendency in the UFC has been to finish opponents early, Nelson says he was actually looking to take Mitrione into deeper waters considering the bout was scheduled for five round. Obviously that didn’t happen, but Nelson is surely glad with the result.

“I was looking to pick him apart, and do it in the later rounds, 2nd and 3rd, and show all the critics that the fat boy can go five rounds,” Nelson joked.

It’s safe to say Nelson’s time on the Ultimate Fighter was anything but a joy ride, and the last 12 weeks of time watching the reality show unfold didn’t seem to be much more pleasant. On top of that, Nelson then had to miss out on the chance to fight fellow coach Shane Carwin when he suffered a knee injury just weeks away from their bout.

The end result was still in his favor and that cushions the blow for any of the other bad things that happened, and now Roy Nelson can celebrate another big knockout.

Even at 36-years of age, Nelson says he’s just getting started like some pretty famous fighters before him.

“I feel like I’m Randy (Couture) and Chuck (Liddell),” said Nelson. “I’m just starting.”

Source: MMA Weekly

Daniel Cormier Joins Fuel TV Broadcast Team for UFC 155 Pre and Post Fight Coverage

Daniel Cormier StrikeforceThere’s a new player in the commentary game for UFC broadcasts and his name is Daniel Cormier.

Widely regarded as not only one of the top heavyweights in the sport, but Cormier is well known throughout the MMA community as one of the most well spoken and articulate fighters in the sport when it comes to breaking down a fight, and understanding MMA.

Well now Cormier is putting his wrestling singlet away for a few days as he heads to Las Vegas to step into the broadcast team for the UFC on Fuel’s coverage of UFC 155.

“The UFC, I’m starting my TV stuff for them. I’ll be doing the weigh-ins and the post show for UFC 155, so a lot of positive things are happening right now,” Cormier revealed when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio over the weekend.

Cormier is currently slated to fight Jan. 12 in his final fight for Strikeforce against Dion Staring, and then he will shift to the UFC as soon as that bout is over.

The former Olympian is currently ranked as the No. 3 heavyweight in the world, and will likely jump right into the deep end of the division once he moves into the Octagon.

UFC 155 will serve as special interest to Cormier beyond his broadcast duties, because he’s also there to coach and help his teammate Cain Velasquez in his effort to become UFC heavyweight champion.

Velasquez faces Junior Dos Santos in the main event of UFC 155, and Cormier will actually be in his corner during the fight, but back in the commentary booth with the rest of the UFC broadcast team during the Fuel TV weigh-ins and post show.

“I’m cornering Cain (Velasquez) for his fight, as I always do,” said Cormier. “I’m doing stuff for Fuel, the post fight show, and the weigh-ins.”

Look for Cormier to join the UFC on Fuel broadcasts leading up to the fights on Dec. 28 for the weigh-ins and then again on Dec. 29 as part of the post show after UFC 155 is concluded.

Source: MMA Weekly

TUF 16 Finale Attendance and Gate

The Ultimate Fighter returned to Las Vegas on Saturday night, although it found a new home in the process.

The TUF 16 Finale marked the move from the reality series’ longtime finale home at The Palms over to The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino due to a spat between UFC president Dana White and Palms officials.

TUF’s move to The Joint accounted for a draw of 2,500 fans, according to UFC officials, and a live gate of $318,525.

That attendance is slightly higher than the past few events at The Palms, which typically drew between 1,600 and 2,100 fans.

The gates at The Palms, however, were typically higher than the joint, usually ringing the till at about $100,000 to $150,000 more.

Roy Nelson capped the TUF 16 Finale with a brutal knockout of Matt Mitrione in the main event, while U.S. Army Combatant instructor Colton Smith captured the honors as the season’s Ultimate Fighter.

Source: MMA Weekly

UFC on FX 6?s Mike Pierce Traveled the World, Stays Humble

You can put UFC on FX 6?s Mike Pierce any place on the planet to fight, and it won’t change his approach.

The welterweight will fly all the way to the other side of the world in Australia to fight Seth Baczynski, but it doesn’t matter how far he has to travel, he said. Fighting is fighting, no matter where it happens.

“It doesn’t really make a difference to me,” Pierce said in response to fighting far away from home in the land down under. “At the end of the day, he and I are both stepping into an octagon and we have to perform and beat the crap out of each other.”

Despite the lengthy travel, Pierce is going into the fight with the same idea that he’s had in all his previous contests: getting the hand raised. After all, both he and his opponent will deal with the same extreme time change.

Both of them have to acclimate, Pierce explained.

“He’s flying from Arizona, I’m flying from Oregon, so the time change and acclimating to all that is relatively the same,” he said.

In terms of MMA, Australia will be the first country Pierce has fought in as a professional outside of the United States. But regardless of the lack pro fights outside of his home country, the 170-pounder has made his rounds hopping the globe.

Most recently and over the last year, Pierce has done tours with the UFC, visiting troops in several places in the Middle East. He landed in places like Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, and said It was a great experience.

“It was a lot of fun,” Pierce said about his visits with American soldiers. “I got to meet a lot of cool people.”

The trip to the American military bases was the first time Pierce made international travel since high school. He was part of a cultural exchange wrestling team that went to Budapest, Hungary, and while there they worked with the Swedish and Hungarian world teams.

“It was an interesting time,” he said, reflecting on his teenage years in a foreign country. “It was very cool for them because they were used to listening to the way the English talk and how they pronounce things. Americans obviously sound a lot different.”

Despite the language barrier, Pierce took the experience as one where he learned a great deal of things and got better as a wrestler. It’s translated well into MMA, he said, and helped humble him for the hard roads in the UFC.

“Once you get to that point where you think you know everything, someone’s going to catch you and humble you really quickly,” he said. “I still try to [remember] that philosophy … and stay humble.”

Source: Gracie Magazine

Emotional Pat Barry flips switch, delivers Knockout of the Night against Shane del Rosario

LAS VEGAS – UFC heavyweight Pat Barry struggles to describe his relationship with soon-to-be pro fighter and, he promises, big-time star, Rose Namajunas.

Wife? Well, not really. Girlfriend? Well, it's more than that.

"We have an understanding," Barry said Saturday, an hour or so after scoring a crushing knockout of Shane del Rosario at 26 seconds of the second round in 'The Ultimate Fighter 16' finale at the Hard Rock. "I call her my lady. Let's leave it at that for now. She's my lady."

Barry is one of the world's most honest and emotional athletes. It was hard for him to go about his day on Friday when he was awakened by a text message informing him of the tragic shootings in Newtown, Conn.

After hitting Del Rosario with a massive left hand and a crushing right hook that won him Knockout of the Night honors, Barry nearly broke down in the ring.

"If you got kids," he said to the crowd, "go hug them like it's your last day."

He struggled to keep from breaking down. He was able to fight, he said later, because it's his job and "we're professionals at this, and we know how to turn it on and off."

Barry, though, is never off. His life is like a continuous social media stream, as he shares the good and the bad, the happy and the sad.

Part of the good is now his life with Namajunas, whom he promises will "without a doubt, no question, no [expletive], guaran-[expletive]-teed" become a mega-star in women's mixed martial arts before long.

Their first meeting, though, was not – how shall we put it? – conventional.

"She punched me in the face, actually," Barry said of their first meeting. "That's how we met. She punched me in the face at Duke Roufus' gym in Milwaukee. I came to the gym to spar one day and I was running a little late. We had to match up with someone else and when I got there and got ready, everyone else was matched up. She was open and so was I."

Barry is a massive heavyweight who is one of the hardest hitters in the world. Namajunas is a 115-pounder who is petite and hardly threatening looking. Despite his reservations, Barry paired with her.

"I walked over and I was like, 'Hi, I'll just take it easy,' and, 'Boom,' she hit me in the face," Barry said. "She hit me and I was like, 'What the [expletive] was that? How do you hit that hard?' So I say to myself, 'OK, maybe that was a fluke.' And then, 'boom,' again, this time with the right hand. And I'm like, 'Oh my God! I love you.' She hit me, with the big glove on, so fast and so hard, I could smell iron. I could taste iron. I felt like I'd just licked the refrigerator.

"When she hit me with the third one, and believe me, it was harder and faster than the first two, I'm like, 'The first one was nice. The second one made me love you. But this third one, I'm about to bust your head off.' "

And so Barry unloaded a combination. The guy who is one of the most lethal punchers in the sport let go a 2-1 combination, a straight left followed by a right, with a good amount of velocity behind it.

He cracked her good, but he didn't get the response he expected.

"As soon as it hit, she launched another couple – boom, boom – that hit me right in the face again," he said. "I'm like, 'What is happening here? Who is this?' She took it. She's a monster. She's like, 'If I don't win, I don't eat.' I didn't put my whole bag into it, but I stung the [expletive] out of her.

"It was going to be one of those, 'Hey, I'm Pat Barry. I'm a tough guy.' But guess what? She took it. She beyond took it. I'm like, 'Damn, girl.' "

Barry is one of those guys who can tell self-deprecating stories all day. In the cage, as he said after the fight, he's something of a different guy. "From Day 1, I've said, I'm throwing heat or I'm throwing nothing. I'm either winning all the way or losing all the way, nothing in between."

He's had his share of spectacular losses. He hurt Del Rosario with a huge left, the punch that was the beginning of the end on Saturday, but he hesitated before jumping on him for the finish. That's because he remembered a 2010 loss to Cheick Kongo in which he had Kongo on the verge of going out before getting knocked out himself.

"The last time I rushed somebody, I woke up and thought I won, but they told me Cheick Kongo won," Barry said.

Barry, though, knew he'd had the fight with Del Rosario in the bag at the end of the first round Saturday. Del Rosario took Barry down in the first and worked on a series of submissions.

Barry fended them off, but had to work to do so. When the bell sounded to end the first, Del Rosario slapped Barry on the leg. Pat Barry punches Shane del Rosario during their fight. (Credit: Tracy Lee for Y! Sports)

"At the end of Round 1, after he went through the submissions that he went through and he couldn't get them, and I was able to stop it and I wasn't tired, because I made that much improvement and I wasn't tired, I [felt really good]," Barry said. "When the bell rang, he tapped me and said, 'Yeah, good.' I remembered as I was getting up, I said, 'Watch out.' I didn't get to say, 'Watch out, because I'm coming for your [expletive] in Round 2,' but when I got back to the corner, I knew we weren't making it out of the second round."

They didn't. Barry landed the huge left followed by the punishing hook. He punches so hard, his hands get so sore that he said, "I can't wipe my butt for three days."

Del Rosario was down and wasn't getting up. It was just another night in the life of Pat Barry.

Afterward, he poured out his emotions in the cage. Later, he sat musing about his lady, whom he predicted would one day be recognized as the best at her profession.

It helps him, he said, to have another fighter in the family because she can relate to the ups and downs in his life.

At home, though, there is no question who is the boss and Barry is quick to concede it's not him.

"No matter what happens," Barry said of the times he has a disagreement with Namajunas, "I say sorry on a regular basis. She breaks a glass and I say, 'I'm sorry I didn't catch that.' I say all the time, 'I'm sorry, whatever you need, ma'am. I'll make dinner and wash the dishes.' She's the queen of the world, man. And I'm a giving guy. Whatever it takes to keep her smiling."

Life is a bunch of laughs with Pat Barry, at least until the bell rings. And then things are a bit different.

Source: Yahoo Sports

UFC 158 Fight Card: GSP vs. Diaz

GSP vs. Diaz is official for UFC 158.

The UFC announced Georges St-Pierre will defend his UFC welterweight title against Nick Diaz at UFC 158 on March 16 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

The GSP title defense is just one of several welterweight matches that were announced Saturday night.

Rory MacDonald will try to avenge the lone loss of his MMA career when he squares off against Carlos Condit. MacDonald lost to Condit via third-round TKO at UFC 115 on June 12, 2010 in Vancouver.

Johny Hendricks, who voiced his displeasure with St-Pierre for wanting to fight Diaz next this past Monday on The MMA Hour, will battle Jake Ellenberger. Hendricks has won his five previous fights, including a 46-second knockout of Martin Kampmann in his last Octagon appearance at UFC 154, while Jake Ellenberger has won four of his previous five fights.

The last fight that was announced will be a rematch between Alessio Sakara and Patrick Cote. Cote got the win at UFC 154 when Sakara was disqualified for illegal strikes to the back of Cote's head.

Source: MMA Fighting


UFC on Fox 5 Fighter Salaries; Shogun and BJ Penn Top Payroll in Losing Efforts

The UFC on Fox 5 fighter salaries were released to on Wednesday by the Washington Department of Licensing.

Benson Henderson continued his reign atop the UFC lightweight division, dominating Nate Diaz, while Alexander Gustafsson and Rory MacDonald continued their ascension up the ranks of their respective divisions.

The following figures are based on the fighter salary information that promoters are required by law to submit to the state athletic commissions, including the winners’ bonuses.

Although mixed martial arts fighters do not have collective bargaining or a union, the fighters’ salaries are still public record, just as with every other major sport in the United States. Any undisclosed bonuses that a promoter also pays its fighters, but does not disclose to the athletic commissions (specifically, pay-per-view bonuses, fight of the night bonuses, etc.), are not included in the figures below.
UFC on Fox 5 Fighter Salaries

Benson Henderson: $78,000 (includes $39,000 win bonus)
def. Nate Diaz: $50,000

Alexander Gustafsson: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Mauricio Rua: $175,000

Rory MacDonald: $42,000 (includes $21,000 win bonus)
def. BJ Penn: $150,000

Matt Brown: $54,000 (includes $27,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Swick: $48,000

Yves Edwards: $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
def. Jeremy Stephens: $24,000

Raphael Assuncao: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Easton: $14,000

Ramsey Nijem: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Joe Proctor: $8,000

Daron Cruickshank: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
Henry Martinez: $8,000

Abel Trujillo: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. Marcus LeVesseur: $8,000

Dennis Siver: $62,000 (includes $31,000 win bonus)
def. Nam Phan: $10,000

Scott Jorgensen: $41,000 (includes $20,500 win bonus)
def. John Albert: $10,000

UFC on Fox 5 Disclosed Fighter Payroll: $960,000

Source: MMA Weekly

Firas Zahabi: Rory MacDonald Was Not Showboating Against B.J. Penn

Rory MacDonald was dominant in his UFC on Fox 5 win over B.J. Penn, but he drew the ire of some fans for doing a shuffle in the cage that was apparently seen as a taunt.

“I can’t believe people perceived it that way,” Zahabi told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show on Wednesday. “It makes no sense to me because the shuffle is a technique. It’s a way to draw your opponent’s attention. Rory did the technique three or four times, and he followed it up with a superman punch. It’s exactly what we drilled. He was trained to do that. He was not just doing it to showboat. He was doing it to execute a strike.”

Although MacDonald and Penn traded words before the bout, Zahabi insisted that his fighter respected the former lightweight and welterweight champion. In fact, Zahabi was worried MacDonald might even respect Penn too much.

“That was a big concern that [MacDonald] would be a deer stuck in the headlights because you’re fighting a guy who’s got such an aura about him,” Zahabi said. “It happened to Georges [St. Pierre] the first time he fought Matt Hughes. Rory knew not to fall for that, just to fight him like he’s anybody else and not to show too much respect in terms of fighting, but we made sure to show him all the respect in the world in terms of a fighter who paved the way. He paved the way for many great fighters.”

Penn showed his heart in going the 15-minute distance, but MacDonald was in control throughout before capturing a unanimous decision. On the feet, he battered the Hawaiian with elbows and vicious body shots.

“I really think you have to take away the boxing from B.J.,” Zahabi said. “If you don’t take away his boxing, you’re dead. You’re dead in the water because taking him down and holding him down is not an easy thing to do. Rory has different tools than Georges St. Pierre. We had to use a different strategy for him, and definitely the elbows, I really feel, is what turned the tide.”

Now MacDonald appears headed for a rematch against Carlos Condit in March at UFC 158. Condit won the first encounter in June 2010, but he had to rally to get the win. Zahabi expects the matchup to be one of the best fights of 2013.

“For sure [Condit is] going to bring new things to the table, but the time is a little short for that,” Zahabi said. “I think he’s going to have to do what he’s good at doing now. The backbone of his game is going to have to be the same, I think, and I think Rory’s going to be extremely ready for that.”

Source: Sherdog

Dana White: Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz slated for March, but 'deal isn't done' yet
By Ariel Helwani
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz is all but set for the UFC's return to Montreal.

According to UFC president Dana White, the promotion has offered both GSP and Diaz a fight on March 16 in Montreal for the UFC welterweight title, however, the "deal isn't done" yet, White told Wednesday.

Diaz's manager Cesar Gracie confirmed the fight has been offered to Diaz, however, he said Diaz has yet to sign the contract. He was hoping to get that done either today or tomorrow. As far as Gracie is concerned, signing the contract appears to be a formality.

St-Pierre's manager Rodolphe Beaulieu was not immediately available for a comment when reached by

White said last week in Seattle that while the UFC wanted to book St-Pierre vs. Anderson Silva, the Canadian welterweight champion asked to fight Diaz first.

"Georges St-Pierre has been a phenomenal champion, just a great guy to deal with for us," White said last week prior to UFC on FOX 5. "He doesn't ask for things. So if he wants to fight Nick Diaz, and Nick Diaz wants to fight him, then that's probably the fight we'll make.

"Georges has been off for a year. (Silva is) a tough fight for him to come back to. He asked personally for the (Diaz) fight."

St-Pierre (23-2) returned to action after almost two years away from the sport due to knee surgery last month in Montreal when he defeated Carlos Condit via unanimous decision to unify the UFC welterweight title.

Diaz (26-8, 1 NC) hasn't fought since February when he lost a unanimous decision to Condit. Following the fight, Diaz was suspended for a year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for testing positive for marijuana metabolites. His suspension expires on Feb. 4, 2013.

White also announced Wednesday that Rory MacDonald vs. Carlos Condit 2 will take place on the same card in Montreal, which is expected to be UFC 158.

Source: MMA Fighting

Working Class Fitness: You Really Wanna Get Better? Stop Focusing on Your Max!
by Matt Wiggy Wiggins

This one is gonna rub a few people the wrong way…

…but give me a few minutes to hear me out, and maybe it’ll change your outlook on a few things and exactly what type of strength and conditioning you should be doing at the gym.

Almost anybody that hits the gym with any kind of regularity (or at least anyone who is even moderately committed to their workouts) is consistently try to get better. This means they’re trying to get stronger or faster or build more muscle or drop more body fat or develop better cardio or whatever.

Point is that they’re better today than they were a week ago, but not as good as they’ll be a week from now.

Makes sense, right? Sure it does.

After all, there’s no point in going to the gym and working your ass off if you’re never getting better.

But, before we can get better, we have to first figure out how we’re going to determine and/or measure it. In other words, we have to define what exactly constitutes “better.”

And this will vary from person to person, as everybody has different goals. If a skinny guy goes in with the purpose of putting on some size, but ends up dropping body fat, he’s “different” than he was when he got started, but not necessarily “better.”

Or if a guy knows he’s slow and has to work on his speed and explosiveness, and while he’s able to put 20 pounds on his max squat, if he can’t jump any higher, he didn’t progress in the right area.

That sort of thing.

But not only do you have to define exactly what characteristics you want to enhance, you have to figure out how you’re going to measure them. And therein lies the problem for so many people. They’re usually worried about improving their “max.”

By that, I mean they’re usually concerned with whatever their maximum ability is for a given physical quality. How much weight they bench press. How many chins in a row they can do. How many burpees can be done in 10 minutes. How fast they can run a mile. How far they can jump.

Now there’s nothing “wrong” with any of these benchmarks – as long as they’re being looked at the right way.

The problem with using your “max” as your sole method of measuring progress is that a “max” doesn’t always tell you the whole story. Just because your “max” improves (in whatever fashion – depends on the test), that doesn’t mean that your ability has – or hasn’t – improved proportionately.

So in other words, I’m saying if you add 20 pounds to your bench press max, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re any stronger?

Yup. That’s exactly what I mean.

Let’s continue on.

If you’re able to add 20 pounds to your bench press max, that’s an indication of an improvement in performance. In other words, you’re able to do better at the bench press. And this isn’t a definite indicator of strength improvement – at least not always a proportional one. It’s an indicator of potential.

First off, I have to mention technique. Any improvements that come about as a result of improving your technique just don’t count. I’ve said this several times in several places, but guys like Dave Tate and Jim Wendler could take the average trainee and put 15-30 pounds on his bench press max inside of 20 minutes, simply by improving their technique.

That’s not a strength improvement. That’s an improvement in expressing the strength the trainee already had.

Massive difference.

That aside, you can’t always take a max into account unless you’re talking about what I call an “everyday max.” This means what can you go into the gym on any given day and make happen?

On certain days, you’re just going to “have it.” You’ll feel good. Energetic. On point. The weights will be light and things will just flow.

You know what that’s like – we’ve all had those types of days. Those are the days that you walk in and bust through all your old maxes like they were nothing.

On the flip side, you’ll have days where you’re tired or recovery is off. You’ll feel slow, sluggish, and like somebody put more weight on the bar when you weren’t looking. You could never come close to hitting your maxes on those days.

Both of those are at opposite ends of the spectrum, and we don’t care about either one. What matters is what you can do day in and day out, at any given time.

Sure, going in and having an awesome day, or building up to a specific peaking cycle or event so that you can hit some new PRs and records is awesome. It shows improvement, what your potential is, and is definitely an awesome stroke to the ego. I’d never say any different.

But you’re not going to be able to go in and do this every time you hit the gym. And really, that’s all we care about.

If you’re a fighter busting his ass (either prepping for a fight or just improving your skills between camps), hitting a new PR, while cool, is ultimately meaningless if the strength, speed, cardio, etc. you develop can’t be called upon every single day when you’re drilling takedowns, hitting the mitts, practicing subs, grappling, sparring, etc.

Of if you’re just a regular guy who wants to be in badass shape, being able to tell your buddies you put 20 pounds on your bench max is cool, but if you’re not any stronger (or faster or whatever) in normal day-to-day life, then who cares?

PRs or new maxes you hit on one special day where everything was just clicking – or even planned out to attain weeks/months in advance – are cool as hell.

But the real progress you want to make is when you can be stronger, faster, have better cardio, and whatever else your goal is on a normal, ongoing, everyday basis.

That should be the type of improvement you’re chasing.

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

Before you go to the gym again, you owe it to yourself to find out what kind of MMA workout pro fighters, boxers, recreational MMAists, or just the “regular guy” who wants to be in shape like his favorite fighter *should* be doing. (HINT – it’s not the crap you see in the magazines.) To discover the truth, hit up Wiggy at or on Facebook at

(Physical exercise can sometimes lead to injury. and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or fitness advice. Please consult a physician before starting any exercise program, and never substitute the information on this site for any professional medical advice or treatment you may receive or the assistance of a fitness professional.)

Source: MMA Weekly

Muhammed Lawal Faces Przemyslaw Mysiala at Bellator 86
Erik Fontanez

“King” Mo Lawal weighs in during the Strikeforce Official Weigh In at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Photo by Esther Lin/Forza LLC/Forza LLC via Getty Images

Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal will face Przemyslaw Mysiala at Bellator 86 in the light heavyweight tournament quarterfinal on Jan. 24, company officials announced on Wednesday.

The event will take place at the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla., and will be broadcast on the MMA promotion’s new television home, Spike TV.

Lawal (8-1) hasn’t competed since Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine in January, due in most part to a suspension for a positive steroid test in his fight with Lorenz Larkin on that card. Additionally, Lawal contracted a staph infection that kept him out of training for an extended period of time.

Bellator 86 will be Lawal’s first fight with the company, and he will split that with time dedicated to professional wrestling in the TNA promotion.

Little is known about Mysiala (16-7), as he’s made his rounds in several small MMA promotions during his eight-year career. Most recently, the Polish fighter dropped a contest to Jason Jones at BAMMA 9 by doctor stoppage in the first round.

Bellator 86 is headlined by a welterweight title fight between 170-pound champion Ben Askren and challenger Karl Amoussou.

Source: Gracie Magazine

Joe Ellenberger, the $440K drug, his supportive twin brother and a UFC dream
by Ben Fowlkes

Looking back, the timing could have been better. Or, to put it another way, the timing couldn't have been worse.

It was the summer of 2009, and Joe Ellenberger was 10-0 as a professional fighter. He had just gotten engaged and was coming off a dominant first-round TKO victory that he was hoping would be impressive enough to catch the eye of the UFC, which had recently signed his twin brother, Jake, to a contract.

Any day now, he thought, the call would come for him.

"I felt like I was on top of the world," the 27-year-old Ellenberger told (

But then, he'd also been feeling unusually tired lately. He'd felt that way all through his last training camp. He was used to bouncing back relatively quickly in between practices, but now he just didn't feel right. When the feeling persisted even after his fight, he broke down and went to see a doctor. It's probably mono, he thought. That made people feel tired, right?

At the doctor's office, they ran the blood tests. Not mono, they said, but something else was weird. His red blood cell counts weren't what they should be. His numbers were, he recalled, "all out of whack." When they finally gave him a diagnosis that October, it sounded like something they were making up on the spot: paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. PNH, for short.

"I had never heard of it," Ellenberger said. "Just like everybody I've told about it since then."

One of the reasons he'd never heard of it is because it's so uncommon. Estimates put the number of diagnosed cases of PNH in the U.S. at around 8,000. Anything less than 200,000 is considered a rare disease. That meant there weren't many doctors in Ellenberger's home state of Nebraska who had even seen the disease before, much less treated a patient with it. The more they started telling Ellenberger about PNH – an acquired blood disease that usually shows up between the ages of 20 and 40 and quickly begins destroying the body's red blood cells – the worse it sounded.

"They told me I could never compete in another contact sport for the rest of my life," he said. "They told me I'd be on a bunch of crazy drugs forever. They told me if I even got in a car accident or anything, I'd be in bad shape because my blood counts were so low and my blood was so thin. And then I guess the research said that I'd probably die before I was 30 years old."

He was 24 when he got the news. Two weeks later, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva called to offer him a fight against Mark Bocek that December.

"That was pretty depressing," Ellenberger said.

After all, a few months earlier, it would have been a dream come true. Now it was an offer he couldn't possibly accept. Now he had gone from wondering where his fighting career would be in 10 years to wondering whether he'd even be alive. The research said probably not. The research said his days of fighting for fun and money were definitely over, and a much tougher fight was about to begin.

Discovering an identity, just in time to lose it

You hear about the Ellenberger twins, and you almost can't help but think about what it must have been like in a house with two future professional fighters growing up together, pummeling each other on an almost daily basis. What you might not know is that the boys have another brother, Adam, who's just a little over a year older than them, so they were "basically triplets," according to Joe.

"There were a lot of broken screens and doors and messed up drywall," he said. "It was fun, though. It was a great childhood for sure."

When the boys were in the fourth grade, Joe said, their father first tried to get them interested in wrestling.

"We were really into pro wrestling, like WWF, at the time," he said. "When he said wrestling, we thought, yeah, let's do that! Of course, that wasn't it."

Once they saw there were no top ropes to jump off of and very few steel chairs to hit each other with, they soon lost interest. A few years later, when he was about 13, a friend of Joe's talked him into giving it another try with the middle school wrestling team. He did, and though he wasn't very good at first – "I think I won maybe one match my first year," he said – he quickly fell in love with the sport.

"It was just something where I had a lot of fun," Ellenberger said. "I could see myself being defined as a wrestler. It was like that's where I found an identity."

He went on to become a state champion in high school and then wrestled at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where he was a two-time Division II All-American. Even after graduating, he soon came back to Kearney as a graduate student and assistant wrestling coach, all while pursuing a career as a professional MMA fighter.

By this time, he'd been joined in that pursuit by his twin brother, Jake, who started out watching Joe wrestle before deciding it was something he had to be a part of as well.

"He's the one who got me into wrestling and competing, watching him wrestle through college," said Jake, a welterweight veteran of several different MMA organizations, who now owns a 7-2 record in the UFC. "We started doing grappling competitions for fun, and that's how we got into the sport."

But a month after Jake made his UFC debut in a split-decision loss to Carlos Condit, Joe was dealing with the life-altering news of his PNH diagnosis. Not only would he never again be able to train alongside his brother, doctors said, but he also might want to start saying his goodbyes, just in case.

It was hard enough for Jake to fathom losing his top training partner. Losing his twin brother altogether seemed unthinkable.

"When he first got diagnosed, I told him, 'I wish it was me,'" Jake said. "I still feel that way. If I could take back everything in my life and career to make that go away for him, I would. Unfortunately I can't."

It's never easy to deal with a family member's serious illness, but it's even tougher when you're a twin, when you share the same DNA and many of the same life experiences. You look at the rare bad luck that has found its way into your brother's life, and you have to wonder why it was him and not you.

"There's not a day that goes by that you don't ask yourself that," Jake said. "Or why it wasn't other people I know or grew up with, who were just bad, s----y people. Why not them instead of someone good?"

But Joe wasn't willing to accept what doctors were telling him about what the rest of his life would look like. No more wrestling or grappling or MMA? No more contact sports at all? How could he give up the things that had defined him since he was 13 years old? How could he just sit around and try not to die?

"A few days after they told me all that stuff, I made a decision in my own mind," Joe said. "I just decided what they told me isn't going to work for me. I can't live like that."

That January he first saw Dr. Monica Bessler, a blood-disorder specialist then in St. Louis. She told him about an innovative new drug called Soliris that had been shown to work wonders for some people with PNH.

"She said I was pretty much an ideal candidate for this drug, and if it worked well for me I could pretty much live a 'normal' life," Ellenberger said.

In the pharmaceutical industry, Soliris is what's known as an "orphan drug," which basically means that it helps so few people because the condition it treats is so rare. Alexion Pharmaceuticals originally developed it as a drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis, but clinical trials failed. It was only later that Soliris was discovered to be something of a wonder drug for two very rare conditions. One of them was PNH.

But the thing about orphan drugs is that, since there are so few patients who need them, the cost is astronomical. Soliris clocks in at about $440,000 per patient per year, according to Forbes Magazine, which in 2010 earned it the distinction as the most expensive drug in the world. Only a few thousand people on the planet take Soliris, and Ellenberger is one of them. Every 14 days he heads to the local cancer treatment center in Omaha and gets an IV treatment. It takes about 40 minutes, and it dramatically alters his quality of life.

"The domino effect that happens in my body kind of starts at the top, and the damage really takes place once the dominoes are knocked down," Ellenberger said. "The drug I take stops everything at the beginning, so my body doesn't see a lot of the ill effects. That's not to say that my body doesn't feel any of the effects, but it's much better than it was."

His health insurance covers part of the cost, he said, and he also gets some assistance from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), which helps patients pay for treatments like orphan drugs based on their financial need. That's how Ellenberger has ended up receiving a regular dosage of a drug that costs several times more than most people make each year, but which has also helped keep him alive and well. So far, Ellenberger said, the financial impact hasn't been too grave, but even if it were, what wouldn't you pay for a chance at life?

"They said I wouldn't make it to 30, but even if I could buy another 10 years to spend with my daughter and my family, I mean, that's priceless," he said.

The comeback

Ellenberger first started on Soliris in March 2010. The improvement in his health was rapid. His blood cell counts soon stabilized. His energy started to return. That summer he headed out to California, where his brother Jake was training for a UFC bout against John Howard in August. At first he was there more for support than sparring, but slowly he found that he was able to make his way back onto the mats to help his brother prepare the way they always had before. It lifted Joe's spirits to be in the gym again, and it also gave a boost to Jake's training before a critical bout.

"No one knows each other better than we do," Joe said. "Sometimes other training partners might take it easy on each other if they're having a bad day or cutting weight or something. We never get to that point with each other."

Jake won his fight, and Joe continued to improve. By that winter he was feeling better than ever, "And that's kind of when I thought, well, there's no reason why I can't go back to competing now."

At first, there was almost no one who thought it was a good idea. Not his doctors, not his family, not his new wife, Vanessa, whom he'd married that May. It was only a year earlier that he was concerned merely with staying alive, and now he wanted to take his extremely rare blood disease and see how it reacted to fighting in a cage? Everyone told him to forget about it, which only made him want to do it more.

"Wrestling teaches you so many great things in life, and I think when you get denied something that wrestling mindset tells you to go harder to get it," Ellenberger said. "They told me no, and that's when that wrestling mindset took over. They said no, and I said yes."

Despite the improvement in Joe's health since he started taking Soliris, his brother was skeptical. It didn't help that, when Joe talked to his doctors about wanting to return to MMA competition, the doctors seemed unclear on exactly what MMA was.

"They were telling him, 'Oh, you want to go back to your professional-wrestling stuff?" Jake said. "That's when it's like, 'You really have no idea what we do, do you?' ... I mean, even now, [PNH] is still unpredictable. There's just not a lot of experts on it. And if you look at the medical field and how it looks at our sport to begin with, this is dangerous. No doctor would recommend this to anyone."

Still, nobody understood what fighting meant to Joe quite as well as his twin brother. He knew why their parents were against the idea, and even why he should be against it as well.

"My mom still worries a lot, and that's understandable," Jake said. "We talk a lot about competing and how long we want to be in this sport, but he loves training and competing. It's part of who he is. I just feel like nobody can tell him what to do. Our parents aren't going to, and I don't think I can. At the end of the day, he has to decide what's good for him."

After months of petitioning his doctors and making his case to his family, Joe was finally cleared to fight again in May 2011. He won his first fight back via first-round submission and then fought again in another victorious effort that July. In October he suffered the first loss of his professional career after dropping a unanimous decision to Justin Salas, who then vaulted into the UFC on the strength of that victory.

This past March, Ellenberger (13-1) rebounded with a third-round submission win over Jess Zeugin, which set up a superfight rematch with former Victory Fighting Championship featherweight champion Joe Wilk (17-6) on Saturday in Omaha. If all goes well, this is the fight that Ellenberger hopes will boost him into the UFC alongside his brother. It's oddly fitting then that it should come against Wilk, who was the last opponent he faced before being diagnosed with PNH in 2009.

A lot has changed since then. While Ellenberger faced the end of his career amid a life-changing diagnosis, Wilk was racking up a five-fight win streak. Now Wilk likely hopes to go the same route that Salas did and get a UFC contract off Ellenberger's name. "But," Ellenberger added, "he's coming into my hometown to do it."

When Ellenberger looks at video of Wilk's recent fights, he said, he sees a changed fighter. Wilk looks more comfortable now. He's less one-dimensional and more confident. He's improved, which is plain to see by his performance and his record.

What Wilk can't see when he looks at Ellenberger, however, is everything he's been through since the last time they fought.

"Being in this situation where I felt like I had almost everything taken away from me, busted back down to nothing, I definitely gained perspective I couldn't have got otherwise," Ellenberger said. "I feel like God put me in a place where He's kind of got a plan for me."

Before, each fight seemed like a piece of a greater whole, another stop on the timeline that extended out into a hazy and distant future. Then Ellenberger found out for himself that the future is never more than hypothetical, never guaranteed, and not something to be taken for granted.

You don't need to look at film to know that the fighter who has come back is not the same as the one who left. He couldn't be. If you learn nothing else about him before the time comes to stand there across from him, waiting for the signal to fight, the one thing you know going in is that this is not the type of man who gives up. You know that whatever's about to happen here, it isn't going to be easy.

Source: MMA Junkie

New time slot and no main event leads Bellator to low ratings
By Dave Meltzer

Just about everything major that could go wrong did on Friday night, leaving Bellator with its second-lowest rated live episode since going on MTV2.

Only 105,000 viewers, down 36 percent from what has been the average this season, saw the next-to-last live event on the station. The show was on both in a different time slot and lost its main event.

The scheduled headliner, a featherweight tournament final fight with Shahbulat Shamhalaev and Rad Martinez, was canceled by the New Jersey Athletic Control Board just minutes before the fight was about to start. The commission ruled that Shamhalaev, throwing up backstage while suffering from food poisoning, was in no shape to fight. This left the promotion having to put a preliminary match on television in its place.

Normally that would be bad enough, but the show also aired one hour earlier than usual. Changes in time slot for weekly shows usually result in a ratings drop since most viewers are creatures of habit. The decline was both understandable and expected.

The only Bellator event on MTV2 that drew a lower rating live was Bellator 53 on Oct. 9, 2011, which did 103,000 viewers. That show went head-to-head with the UFC 136 pay-per-view and ended up doing 120,000 viewers for a 1 a.m. replay showing after the UFC event concluded.

Bellator's final event on MTV2 is also the current season finale and will air Friday night from Hammond, Ind., featuring Richard Hale (21-4-1) vs. Alexander Volkov (18-3) for the company's vacant heavyweight title in a tournament final. The event also features a lightweight tournament final putting submission expert Marcin Held (15-2) vs. Dave Jansen (19-2). The winner of that fight will face the winner of the Michael Chandler vs. Rick Hawn lightweight title fight that takes place on Jan. 17, when Bellator debuts on Spike TV.

Source: MMA Fighting

Rory MacDonald-Carlos Condit Rematch Slated for UFC 158 in Montreal
By Mike Whitman

Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit will likely square off once again at UFC 158.

MacDonald announced the planned pairing during a Wednesday appearance on MMAJunkie Radio. Though the promotion has officially announced neither the fight nor the event, UFC 158 is expected to take place March 16 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

Following his unanimous decision victory over B.J. Penn this past Saturday at UFC on Fox 5, MacDonald requested a rematch with Condit during his post-fight interview. On Tuesday, Fuel TV’s “UFC Tonight” reported that “The Natural Born Killer” had accepted the Canadian’s challenge, though no specifics were released regarding where or when the bout might go down.

Regarded by many as the heir apparent to reigning UFC welterweight titlist and Tristar teammate Georges St. Pierre, MacDonald suffered his lone loss to Condit in June 2010, when the New Mexican rallied in the third round to stop the prospect with just seven seconds remaining in a bout that many felt MacDonald was winning through the first two frames. Since that UFC 115 setback, MacDonald has won four straight fights, most recently using his size, reach and athleticism to batter former two-division champion Penn at the Key Arena in Seattle.

Condit, meanwhile, rattled off three consecutive wins following his come-from-behind technical knockout of MacDonald, knocking out Dan Hardy and Dong Hyun Kim before taking a contentious unanimous decision from Nick Diaz to win the UFC interim welterweight title this past February. Nine months later, the Jackson’s MMA representative faced returning champion St. Pierre in an attempt to unify the titles, coming up short on the judges’ scorecards despite flooring “Rush” in the third round with a high kick.

Source Sherdog

Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Michihiro Omigawa On Deck for DREAM 18 in Japan

A featured featherweight bout between Tatsuya Kawajiri and Michihiro Omigawa has been added to the upcoming DREAM 18 card in Japan on New Year’s Eve.

Since dropping to 145lbs, former lightweight stand out Tatsuya Kawajiri has been perfect as a featherweight. Winning his last 4 bouts in a row with three taking place at featherweight, Kawajiri will look to stay undefeated when he returns later this month.

Following a tumultuous run in the UFC that ended with a 1-4 record over his last five fights, Michihiro Omigawa was released from the promotion and now heads home to Japan hoping for much better results.

Omigawa spent several years fighting there between DREAM and Sengoku, and now hopes to get his career back on track by defeating Kawajiri on New Year’s Eve.

The featherweight bout between Kawajiri and Omigawa is the latest addition to the growing DREAM 18 card, which features several MMA and kickboxing bouts in a co-promoted show along with Glory World Series.

Source: MMA Weekly


Mark Hominick Retires from Mixed Martial Arts
by Damon Martin

Following more than 30 fights in his pro career including seven inside the UFC, featherweight contender Mark Hominick has announced his retirement from fighting.

The Canadian made the announcement via UFC Tonight on Tuesday.

“Over the last 11 years, I’ve followed my passion in the UFC. Now, I’ll say UFC 154 was my last fight in the Octagon as I’m retiring and moving on to next phase of my career. I have a young daughter at home and another on the way. I’ll always be involved in the sport. But I know the commitment I have to make. I have to make a commitment to this as I have to fighting in the past.” said Hominick.

Throughout his career, Hominick was always known as one of the most exciting fighters in the sport with knockout power and a surprising submission game.

His career took a rough turn over the last year and a half with Hominick losing his final four fights inside the Octagon, most recently dropping a decision to Pablo Garza at UFC 154.

Regardless of record, Hominick remained one of the most popular fighters in his home country of Canada, as well as one of the top featherweight draws in the sport.

Recently, Hominick has taken on a more prominent role as coach for his team in Canada after the passing of his close friend and former teacher Shawn Tompkins.

Source: MMA Weekly

UFC on FX 6 Prelims: 5 Reasons to Watch
By Mike Whitman

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Australia for the first time in nine months when UFC on FX 6 takes place at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Queensland.

The FX-broadcast main draw airs live on Friday in the United States and is headlined by a coaches’ showdown between “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” stars George Sotiropoulos and Ross Pearson. Here are five reasons to tune in for the undercard, which airs live on Fuel TV immediately prior to the FX telecast:

Pierce’s Pride

Mike Pierce is a bad man, plain and simple.

He is that charging grizzly bear you fire on twice, only to then watch him crack a sly grin when both rounds ricochet off his skull like Skittles bouncing off a bowling ball. By the way, he is still coming at you. Better reload.

If you do not know Pierce’s story, here is the lowdown: were it not for split decision losses to Johny Hendricks and Josh Koscheck, we would all probably be griping about Pierce -- not Hendricks -- being given the shaft when it came to a welterweight title shot.

Undersized but rarely outgunned, Pierce’s hard-nosed style was never more endorphin-inducing than in his most recent outing against Aaron Simpson at UFC on FX 5, where the Oregonian picked himself up off the canvas following a first-round knockdown to starch the “A-Train” early in the second.

At 32, Pierce is running out of time to make a run at that welterweight belt. Can he take another step toward the title by dispatching Seth Baczynski?

Bullseye or backfire

As for Baczynski, a victory over Pierce would gain him some serious street cred and force UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to start booking him against Top-5 talent.

Needless to say, that means this is a big fight for “The Polish Pistola,” who recently wrecked Norwegian prospect Simeon Thoresen at UFC 152 after eating quite a few shots during the bout’s opening four minutes.

Since making the cut to 170 pounds following a middleweight stint on “The Ultimate Fighter 11,” Baczynski has gone undefeated, rattling off four consecutive Octagon wins. Like Pierce, he is also a gamer who never shies away from exchanging punches. Baczynski will have a considerable edge in the size and reach categories come fight night, and the 31-year-old should take care not to waste those advantages by allowing the stout Pierce to close the gap and punch from point-blank range.

Can Baczynski keep his foe on the end of his jab and use his size to guide him to victory, or will he wilt under Pierce’s relentless pressure, as so many others have?

Money Maker

As many of you have likely deduced by this point, Chad Mendes is an excellent fighter. His problem, like so many others top featherweights, is that Jose Aldo currently sits atop Mount Olympus at 145 pounds.

Arguably the most powerful wrestler in the UFC featherweight division, Mendes has bested all who have opposed him, save Aldo, who knocked the Team Alpha Male standout cold with a violent knee 11 months ago at UFC 142.

Mendes rebounded from that setback impressively, crushing Cody McKenzie with a right straight to the body just 31 seconds into their UFC 148 clash back in July. If “Money” hopes to earn another shot at the title, he likely cannot afford another loss, especially with new featherweight additions Clay Guida and Frankie Edgar dropping down from 155 pounds to further crowd his already shark-infested category.

Can Mendes snatch another victory and take one more step toward a second chance at championship gold against promotional newcomer Yaotzin Meza, or will “Money” suffer his second loss in three fights?

There Will Be Blood

Nothing riles up a crowd like a good old fashioned donnybrook, and I suspect that is exactly what Igor Pokrajac and Joey Beltran aim to deliver.

I doubt there is a prop bet for this type of thing in Las Vegas, but if I were given decent odds on this fight producing at least two “Holy hell, how are these guys still standing?!” moments, I would put my bills down in a second.

The flipside of that coin is that the bout is just as likely to produce several “Good God, can somebody please display even a minor degree of world-class skill?!” moments. That is life, boys and girls. Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes, the bear eats you.

I do not need to spell it out. If you are a fan worth your salt, you remember Pokrajac’s brawl with Fabio Maldonado, and you are undoubtedly already well-acquainted with Beltran’s seemingly never-ending ability to absorb punishment while continuing to move forward. This one might not be pretty, but it is going to be fun.

Teammate Tossup

“The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” teammates will collide when Mike Wilkinson faces Brendan Loughnane. Both unbeaten Brits, one lightweight will inevitably return home nursing his first career defeat.

Known as “The Warrior,” Wilkinson has posted seven straight victories since making his professional debut in 2009, but the 25-year-old prospect was knocked out of “Ultimate Fighter” contention when he was injured in training following a first-round submission victory over castmate Richie Vaculik. Though Wilkinson possesses decent all-around skills, his bread and butter definitely lies in his takedowns and top control.

Meanwhile, Loughnane advanced to the “Smashes” semifinals by outpointing Patrick Iodice. Unfortunately for the five-fight pro, the Round of 4 would signal his demise, as he dropped a unanimous verdict to Norman Parke in their three-round exhibition affair.

Loughnane possesses good speed and is likely the quicker of the two men. Additionally, he has shown an ability throw up submissions from his back in the event that he ends up on bottom. With that said, both fighters are well-rounded and should be fairly evenly matched on fight night. Which “Ultimate Fighter” alum will show he is deserving of a UFC gig?

Source: Sherdog

Morning Report: Vitor Belfort confident Anderson Silva would 'win on the feet' against Jon Jones
By Shaun Al-Shatti
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Along with Stephan Bonnar, Vitor Belfort is one of just two men to have fought both Anderson Silva and Jon Jones, and he's the only one to have fought both champions at their peak. So Belfort finds himself in an unique position when it comes to the current superfight conversation.

Having tasted both man's best shot, Belfort agrees with fans who believe Georges St-Pierre should be an afterthought and the only logical superfight out there is the one between the 185-pound and 205-pound titleholders. But, perhaps most surprisingly, "The Phenom" scoffs at the idea of Jones being the favorite.

"Anderson vs. GSP is meaningless. It would make sense if Anderson fought Jon Jones," Belfort explained to Por Dentro da Arena (via Fighters Only). "Anderson is a fighter at another level. I'm not underestimating Jones, but praising Anderson. He's one of the best that has existed. I always thought it.

"Anderson is in a very high level and should defend his belt or fight for the light heavyweight title. I think he has a greater possibility to beat Jones. He would win on the feet."

Of course Belfort gave Jones a scare with a valiant first-round armbar attempt at UFC 152, more than a year after being embarrassed by Silva and losing via the knockout of the decade. He also unquestionably stands to gain the most from Silva leaving the middleweight division, so it's not as if he isn't a little biased. But still, Belfort may have a point. After everything we've seen, whether it be the otherworldly movement, the ease with which he crosses divisional lines, or the vast trail of dismantled bodies left in his wake, it feels a bit unnatural to think of "The Spider" as an underdog to any human being on the planet.

Source: MMA Fighting

UFC on Fox 5 Peaks with 5.7 Million Viewers; Best Overall Ratings Since UFC on Fox 2
by Damon Martin

The final numbers for the UFC on Fox 5 card are back, and it appears everybody should be happy with the result.

According to a report from Nielsen, the UFC on Fox 5 show averaged 4.4 million viewers over it’s 2+ hour broadcast with a peak of 5.7 million viewers during the main event between Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz.

Those are the best numbers for the UFC on Fox since their second event in January of this year when Rashad Evans took on Phil Davis in the main event. More than six million viewers tuned in for the top fight on that card, with an average of 4.7 million viewers overall.

The UFC on Fox 5 card also scored impressive numbers in the key 18-34 and 18-49 demographics, which is where most advertisers look in terms of money spent and future spending on a show or program.

UFC on Fox 5 scored a 4.0 rating among the 18-49 demographic and a 3.5 among 18-34 males, which means the show finished 3rd overall in the week for that key market behind only Sunday Night NFL football and The Simpsons.

The Fox broadcast also dominated the 18-49 male market overall for the entire night compared to the other major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS), and won out the overall night in adults from 18-49. Again, in terms of viewership and advertising, the 18-49 market is key and the UFC on Fox won the night in that regard.

The ratings trended upwards as the night wore on with the initial bout between Mike Swick and Matt Brown getting an average of 3.6 million viewers and peaking with the Henderson vs Diaz bout at 5.7 million.

The next UFC on Fox card will take place on Jan 26 in Chicago and will feature another title bout, this time with the flyweights taking center stage as Demetrious Johnson faces former Ultimate Fighter winner John Dodson.

Source: MMA Weekly

Too intimidated to do Jiu-Jitsu?
Contributor: Junior Samurai

There are a lot of folks who like Jiu-Jitsu, have plenty of yearning to learn acrobatic moves and holds like the rear-naked choke and armbar, but when they begin to approach an academy… their legs start to shake and they decide to go back in the direction from which they came.

The result is that this little fear and lack of confidence is the impediment keeping the person from a healthy life full of new friends and with fewer misgivings about taking life by the horns.

To take the first step, it’s as simple as taking a first step.

Breathe in, gather your courage, and walk through the academy doors. You’ll see that a Jiu-Jitsu school isn’t made up of just big dudes and UFC fighters, but mostly by white belts, veterans, children and women.

Introduce yourself to the headmaster, and have a talk with him. Explain your fears and desires, and he’ll certainly be able to orient you. If you want to bring your kids along to learn to defend themselves too, ask about the kids classes, which every academy has on offer as well.

There you go. Now you have gained entry into the wonderful world of Jiu-Jitsu. And can finally learn to fall, get up, fend off punches and perform other simple and efficient self-defense techniques.

Source: Gracie Magazine

Dennis Siver vs. Cub Swanson to serve as co-main event for UFC on FUEL TV 7
By Luke Thomas
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC's fight card for its return to the United Kingdom continues to fill out. The promotion announced a featherweight bout between Dennis Siver and Cub Swanson will serve as that night's co-main event bout.

Siver, 33, is on a two-fight win streak since dropping to featherweight after losing handily at lightweight to Donald Cerrone at UFC 137 in October of 2011. He first defeated Diego Nunes by unanimous decision in April of this year and most recently bested Nam Phan in a one-sided bout on Saturday at UFC on Fox 5. Siver is 10-5 in the Octagon and holds a professional MMA record of 21-8.

Swanson, 29, is on a three-fight win streak at 145 pounds, all of the wins coming inside the 2012 calendar year. Swanson stopped George Roop with strikes at UFC on FOX 2 in January, did the same to Ross Pearson at UFC on FX 4 in June and recently knocked out Charles Oliveira in the first round at UFC 152. Swanson is 8-4 in Zuffa promotions and 18-5 in his overall MMA career.

UFC on FUEL TV 7 takes place at the Wembley Arena in London, England on Feb. 16, 2013. The event is headlined by an interim bantamweight title bout between champion Renan Barao and challenger Michael McDonald.

Source: MMA Fighting

Leben-Vemola takes UFC 155's final PPV spot, Lauzon-Miller moves to co-headliner

A middleweight bout between Chris Leben (22-8 MMA, 12-7 UFC) and Karlos Vemola (9-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has taken the final spot on this month's UFC 155 pay-per-view main card.

The slot opened when injured Forrest Griffin (19-7 MMA, 10-5 UFC) was forced out of a co-main-event fight with fellow light heavyweight Phil Davis (10-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC).

As part of the shuffle, lightweights Jim Miller (21-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC) and Joe Lauzon (22-7 MMA, 9-4 UFC) have taken the co-headliner slot at the year-end event.

UFC 155 takes place Dec. 29 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In addition to the PPV main card, FX and Facebook carry the prelims.

Leben and Vemola got the PPV slot over bantamweights Brad Pickett (22-6 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Eddie Wineland (19-8-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC), who now fight in the featured preliminary-card bout on FX.

Leben gets the high-profile PPV slot despite coming off a yearlong suspension after testing positive for prescription painkillers oxycodone and oxymorphone following his UFC 138 main-event loss to Mark Munoz. It was Leben's second suspension for a failed drug test.

Before the Munoz loss and suspension, Leben was on a 4-1 run, which included wins over Wanderlei Silva, Yoshihiro Akiyama and Aaron Simpson. Vemola, meanwhile, is coming off a loss to Francis Carmont at UFC on FUEL TV 4 in July. The Czech fighter made his middleweight debut a fight prior and earned a rear-naked-choke win over Mike Massenzio at UFC on FOX 3.

The latest UFC 155 card now includes:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

Champ Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez - for heavyweight title
Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller
Tim Boetsch vs. Constantinos Philippou
Alan Belcher vs. Yushin Okami
Chris Leben vs. Karlos Vemola


Brad Pickett vs. Eddie Wineland
Erik Perez vs. Byron Bloodworth
Michael Johnson vs. Myles Jury
Leonard Garcia vs. Cody McKenzie
Philip De Fries vs. Todd Duffee
Chris Cariaso vs. John Moraga

For more on UFC 155, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Source: MMA Junkie

Super Fight League To Crown Five Champions at This Friday’s SFL 13

Press Release

SFL’s 2012 promotional debut culminates with Night of Champions

Airing and Streaming Live Friday, December 14th, 2012 on
Mumbai – 9:00 PM | Los Angeles 7.30 AM | New York 10.30 AM | Hong Kong 11.30 PM | London 4.30 PM

Super Fight League is proud to announce SFL Friday Fight Night 13, ‘Night of Champions’, an epic end of year finale where SFL stars battle it out to be crowned the first ever Super Fight League champions. As always the SFL will air live on Neo Prime in India and streams live and free on and YouTube.

SFL 13 will go down in the history books for Super Fight League. The final event of 2012 will be filled with five titles on the line. During SFL’s inaugural show in March of 2012 Fighters from all over the world have come to the SFL to compete and now ten fighters have earned the chance to become Super Fight League Champions. You can make picks of who you think will win and play along with the SFL Pick Em Game and test your knowledge.

The card is stacked with the men’s welterweight, lightweight, featherweight and bantamweight titles all on the line, topped off with a bout to decide to women’s flyweight champion, SFL 13 promises to be one of the most memorable MMA events seen in Asian history.

The Super Fight League was founded in early 2012 and has quickly become one of the most active promotions in MMA. Bring fight fans multiple fight cards each and every month at no charge. 2013 the SFL plans to promote even more stacked cards, more international talent and of course five new Champions that must defend their belts.

Raj Kundra, Chairman of Super Fight League said: “The event we’ve all been working towards has finally arrived – where the world can see SFL talent battle it out to win our first ever world title belts. As 2012 draws to a close, I am proud of the things we accomplished within the sport of MMA. in 2013 we will move to a Bi-Weekly format that should allow us to present the same rapid pace that SFL fans love combined with broader reach to other countries. To put it in a few words, we plan on making sure our Champions are active and tested against the best in 2013.”

The Super Fight League is the most consistent MMA promotion in Asia With over 24 fights already planned for 2013 SFL looks to continue to capitalize on Asia’s large MMA fan base and push its brand across all borders while continuing to educate and develop the sport in it’s base Indian market. Tune into SFL 12 this Friday December 14th 2012, streaming live on and at 9:00 PM in Mumbai India, 7:30 AM in Los Angeles, 10:30 AM in New York, 11:30 PM in Hong Kong and 3:30 PM in London.
SFL 13 Friday Fight Night Card – Night of Champions

SFL World Title Fight (Main Event): Bhabajeet Chowdhury vs Shyam Prasad (WW)
SFL World Title Fight: Sanja Sucevic vs Colleen Schneider (FW)
SFL World Title Fight: Manoj Chuhan vs Anup Kumar (BW)
SFL World Title Fight: Bharat Kandare vs Narender Grewal (FW)
SFL World Title Fight: Rajinder Singh Meena vs Sandeep Yadav (LW)
Mohamed Hassan vs Warren De Reuck (WW)
Rouhollah Eidehlouei v Jamshed Khan (WW)

Play along with SFL

Don’t forget to play along by using the SFL MMA Game to predict when and how the fights will end and check how you did after the event. For more information on how to play visit

Source: MMA Weekly


Anderson Silva Says No Thanks on New 8-Fight UFC Deal…He Wants 10-Fights
by Damon Martin

Despite being 38-years of age, Anderson Silva‘s best days are still ahead.

At least you’d have to imagine that after his current negotiations with the UFC on a new contract landed at way more than three or four more fights.

Silva currently has two fights left on his UFC contract, but it’s no secret the promotion will break the bank to ensure they keep their reigning and defending middleweight champion happy with a new deal.

On Saturday in the midst of UFC on Fox 5, UFC President Dana White confirmed that negotiations are underway, and they tried to lock Silva down on a new 8-fight contract, but he turned them down.

Not because it wasn’t enough money or because he only wanted to fight a few more times before he ended his career. No, it’s because Anderson Silva wanted more fights.

“We tried to do an 8-fight deal with him and he said (expletive) that, I want a 10-fight deal. So we’ll see what happens,” White revealed.

Silva’s next fight in the UFC has not been determined yet. He was rumored for months to face UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in a super fight, but now all signs are pointing to that fight not happening with St-Pierre likely to face Nick Diaz next.

There are still plenty of options for Silva, but the most likely scenario is if Michael Bisping gets past Vitor Belfort in January, then he would almost assuredly be the next candidate in line for the UFC middleweight title.

Source: MMA Weekly

UFC on FX 6 Preview
By Tristen Critchfield

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Australia for the first time since a tabulation debacle ultimately forced Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall to square off for rounds four, five and six to decide one half of the promotion’s flyweight tournament final. A different kind of tournament will be featured on Friday at the Gold Coast Convention Center in Queensland, Australia, as UFC contracts will be delivered to the welterweight and lightweight winners of “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes.”

In addition to more teary-eyed newcomers realizing their lifelong dreams, “Ultimate Fighter” coaches Ross Pearson and George Sotiropoulos will settle their differences in an interesting lightweight clash. Perhaps best of all, the ever-volatile Hector Lombard returns to his adopted homeland to tangle with leg lock guru Rousimar Palhares at 185 pounds.

Here is a closer look at UFC on FX 6, with analysis and picks:


George Sotiropoulos (14-4, 7-2 UFC) vs. Ross Pearson (13-6, 5-3 UFC)

The Matchup: Sotiropoulos and Pearson were opposing coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes,” and in staying true to unwritten reality show protocols, the Aussie and the Brit managed to cook up a pretty decent beef along the way.

It has been nearly a year-and-a-half since a counter right hook from Rafael dos Anjos sent Sotiropoulos crashing to the canvas at UFC 132. A training injury forced the Australian out of a matchup against Takanori Gomi at UFC 144, and he has been occupied with his coaching duties in the latter portion of 2012. Once regarded as a dark horse title contender at 155 pounds, Sotiropoulos enters this bout looking to halt a two-fight skid that began with a unanimous decision loss to Dennis Siver at UFC 127.

Pearson returns to lightweight after a two-fight stint at 145 pounds. “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 winner did well enough in his featherweight debut, outpointing Junior Assuncao at UFC 141, but struggled to handle the speed and punching combinations of Cub Swanson in suffering a second-round technical knockout loss to the Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts product in June. “The Real Deal” is 4-2 as a lightweight in the UFC, with losses coming at the hands of Cole Miller and Edson Barboza.

The key for Sotiropoulos is to use his serviceable standup just enough to initiate clinches and takedown attempts. That means applying constant pressure while jabbing and kicking effectively. Sotiropoulos has proven vulnerable to a solid hook in recent bouts, which makes it even more imperative to get the fight to the ground as quickly as possible. He simply does not have the boxing chops to win a prolonged standup battle with the technically sound Pearson, who is an opportunistic counterpuncher.

Known as a durable slugger, Pearson mixes a solid jab and good footwork with consistent aggression. When faced with a quicker, superior athlete such as Swanson or Barboza, Pearson has been beaten to the punch. That should not be a problem against his rival coach, however. Sotiropoulos has incrementally improved his striking over the years, but the 35-year-old jiu-jitsu player is not going to overwhelm anyone with sheer volume or breathtaking speed.

The ground game is where the Australian does his finest work. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Sotiropoulos is adept at passing guard and working submissions, and he uses his own rubber guard to limit his opponent’s offense from above. This is a problem for Pearson, who is generally most effective when he lands measured ground-and-pound from top position; anywhere else on the ground, the Alliance MMA representative looks lost. If Pearson cannot control range with his boxing and kicks to the legs and body, he will risk being smothered by Sotiropoulos for significant periods of time.

The Pick: Pearson will fare best if Sotiropoulos allows emotions from the show to get the best of him and engages in a back-and-forth slugfest. If not, he will have to hope that his opponent’s age -- the Australian is 35 -- and ring rust will be too much to overcome. Sotiropoulos will use a solid one-two to get inside and force Pearson into his world before winning via submission in round three.


Hector Lombard (31-3-1, 0-1 UFC) vs. Rousimar Palhares (14-4, 7-3 UFC)

The Matchup: When it comes to matchmaking, some bouts are not immediately obvious. They require careful thought and consideration to finally come to fruition. Lombard-Palhares is the exact opposite, a no-brainer of a fight if there ever was one. Both men have compact, muscular builds; both have devoted cult followings; and both have a certain unpredictable nature that can be charming and unnerving at the same time.

That is not all the two middleweights have in common. Both men are coming off relatively high-profile and disappointing losses, and another setback here could prove extremely damaging to the long-term title hopes of either fighter.

Lombard’s long-awaited UFC debut was marked by frustratingly long periods of inactivity, which ultimately resulted in a lackluster split-decision loss to Tim Boetsch. The Cuban judoka seemed content to wait for his opponent to make a mistake, with his most significant offense coming in the form of a pair of takedowns and a solid body kick. A case can be made that Lombard deserved to win that fight, but the fact remains that he barely resembled the wrecking machine who had not lost in more than five years leading up to his initial Octagon foray.

Meanwhile, Palhares looked very hittable against Alan Belcher once his initial kneebar and heel hook salvo failed at UFC on Fox 3. “Toquinho” is still one of the most feared submissions artists in the sport today, but his inability to deliver against higher-caliber competition -- see losses to Belcher, Nate Marquardt and Dan Henderson -- raises questions as to whether he will ever be a top-tier contender at 185 pounds.

As a former Cage Fighting Championships titleholder, Lombard is extremely popular Down Under. Perhaps having an increased comfort level in familiar surroundings will help to eliminate some of the passivity that plagued him in the loss to Boetsch. At his best, Lombard stalks his foe, moving forward and throwing powerful punches with ill-intent. His considerable upper body strength will come in handy against Palhares, who has a powerful shot and averages more than four takedowns landed per 15 minutes, according to

As he demonstrated against Belcher, Palhares will not hesitate to dive for a leg in hopes of securing his patented heel hook. However, if that approach fails -- and it could against a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt like Lombard -- the Brazilian must take better measures to protect himself on the ground.

While Lombard favors the explosive finish, he can also employ methodical ground-and-pound, as he did in dispatching Alexander Shlemenko. If Palhares gets too frantic in trying to create scrambles and transitions on the floor, he risks eating heavy leather from his opponent.

The Pick: Give Lombard a mulligan for his disappointing debut. Palhares will find it difficult to score takedowns, forcing him to engage in a heavy-handed slugfest. In that situation, the edge goes to Lombard, who wins via technical knockout in round two.

“The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” Welterweight Final
Brad Scott (8-1, 0-0 UFC) vs. Robert Whittaker (9-2, 0-0 UFC)

The Matchup: The 170-pound final of the “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” pits Team U.K. member Scott against Team Australia representative Whittaker.

Before his stint on the reality show, Scott authored a six-fight winning streak competing for various promotions, most recently punching out Mok Rahman in the third round at Cage Warriors Fight Night 4. All told, the Trojan Freefighters export has won eight of his nine professional outings, finishing each of his victories by knockout or submission.

However, Scott was not nearly as dominant on the reality show, as he went the distance to dispatch both Xavier Lucas and Ben Alloway to earn a spot in the final. Scott has shown a knack for controlling the tempo of his bouts through tie-ups and takedowns, and the Brit is opportunistic when it comes to taking his opponent’s back on the canvas.

An eight-time veteran of the Australia-based Cage Fighting Championships promotion, Whittaker came up short in his bid for a title at CFC 21, losing a five-round verdict to Jesse Juarez in May. Like his UFC on FX 6 foe, the 21-year-old PMA Super Martial Arts Centre product has a track record for finishing, stopping all nine of his victims by either knockout or submission.

Whittaker continued that trend on the show by scoring first-round knockouts of Luke Newman and Lucas -- who re-entered the tournament -- to punch his ticket to the final. In addition to the considerable power in his right hand, Whittaker demonstrated an ability to maintain composure after absorbing heavy fire from Newman in the early going of their first-round contest.

If Whittaker is to continue his string of impressive knockouts, he must control the distance against Scott to prevent cardio-draining clinches against the fence. Scott is also competent from his back, as he does a good job controlling posture in hopes of forcing a restart.

The Pick: The worst-case scenario for Whittaker sees Scott taking his back, pounding away and hunting for chokes. However, the Aussie has the look of a man on a roll. Whittaker wins by knockout or TKO in round two.

“The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” Lightweight Final

Colin Fletcher (8-1, 0-0 UFC) vs. Norman Parke (16-2, 0-0 UFC)

The Matchup: A pair of Ross Pearson pupils lock horns here, as Team U.K. standouts Fletcher and Parke vie for a UFC contract at 155 pounds.

Nicknamed “Freakshow” for the clown attire he favors for his walk to the cage, Fletcher has established himself as a submission specialist on the regional circuit by finishing seven of his eight career victories via tapout. The Sunderland Fight Pit representative most recently posted two wins fighting for the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts, submitting David Round in December 2011 before earning a unanimous verdict over David Ball in March.

To earn his spot in the final, Fletcher took a decision against Ben Wall and submitted Richie Vaculik during his time on the reality show. The 29-year-old’s crafty submission game was on display against Vaculik, as he executed a nice transition by jumping to his opponent’s back and cinching a fight-ending keylock after being taken down. On the feet, Fletcher prefers to fight at range, landing kicks to the legs and body to control distance.

A native of Bushmills, Antrim, Northern Ireland, Parke made his name on the Irish freestyle wrestling circuit before beginning a career in MMA. Parke’s only two defeats in 18 professional appearances have come against Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Greg Loughran and fellow Irish prospect Joseph Duffy. On “The Ultimate Fighter,” Parke battled to unanimous decision victories over Vaculik -- who fought twice due to a Mike Wilkinson injury -- and Brendan Loughnane. Parke followed a similar blueprint in his victories, utilizing pressure and takedowns to control his opponents. Outside of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Parke has finished 12 of sixteen triumphs via tapout.

Expect Fletcher to rely heavily on leg kicks to keep Parke from moving into takedown range. Despite his lanky 6-foot-2 frame, the Englishman had some difficulty keeping Vaculik from moving in and out of range during their encounter. In addition to strong takedowns, Parke is known for heavy ground-and-pound and quick judo throws, although those skills were not especially evident on the reality show.

The Pick: Fletcher has a solid edge when the fight is vertical, and his active ground work could discourage Parke on his takedown attempts. As long as “Freakshow” limits the time spent on his back, he wins a decision.


Mike Pierce (15-5, 7-3 UFC) vs. Seth Baczynski (18-8, 4-0 UFC): Despite a rousing second-round knockout of Aaron Simpson at UFC on FX 5, Pierce again finds himself buried on the preliminary card. Do not be deceived by the bout’s placement, because his pairing with the all-action Baczynski is main-card worthy. Pierce can wear down even the most active opponents, however, and his style could frustrate Baczynski over the course of 15 minutes. Pierce takes it by decision.

Light Heavyweights

Igor Pokrajac (25-9, 4-4 UFC) vs. Joey Beltran (14-8, 3-5 UFC): This has the makings of a slugfest, as Pokrajac tends to favor a straightforward approach, while Beltran is about as durable as they come. The bout could come down to which fighter is able to impose his will in the clinch. Pokrajac can capture the momentum of the fight by scoring takedowns from tie-ups and forcing Beltran to fight from his back. Pokrajac wins by decision.


Chad Mendes (12-1, 3-1 UFC) vs. Yaotzin Meza (18-7, 0-0 UFC): Mendes rebounded beautifully from his first career defeat to champion Jose Aldo, as he needed a little more than half a minute to dispatch Cody McKenzie with a body punch in July. Backed by a proven wrestling pedigree and a stout right hand, the 27-year-old remains a force at 145 pounds. Meza, an MMA Lab representative who replaced Hacran Dias on short notice, has his work cut out for him here. Mendes wins by decision.


Manuel Rodriguez (9-3, 0-0 UFC) vs. Ben Alloway (12-3, 0-0 UFC): Alloway showed heavy hands in defeating Valentino Petrescu via second-round TKO on “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” before dropping a split verdict to Brad Scott on the show’s semifinals. Rodriguez, meanwhile, submitted Bola Omoyele with a north-south choke in their opening round matchup. However, a leg kick from Omoyele fractured his leg, ending Rodriguez’s run. Alloway wins by second-round TKO.


Brendan Loughnane (5-0, 0-0 UFC) vs. Mike Wilkinson (7-0, 0-0 UFC): Loughnane did his best work on “The Ultimate Fighter” when he could control positioning but offered little in the way of offense on the feet. That could prove difficult against Wilkinson, who was both patient and relentless in pursuing -- and achieving -- a rear-naked choke against Grant Blackler on the show. However, an eye injury prevented Wilkinson from advancing any further. Wilkinson takes it by submission in round three.

Light Heavyweights

Cody Donovan vs. Nick Penner (11-2, 0-1 UFC): Penner looked overwhelmed on the ground against Anthony Perosh in his UFC debut, as he fell victim to heavy ground-and-pound inside of a round against his Australian opponent. A Grudge Training Center product, Donovan will look to do the same. A heavy diet of takedowns carries Donovan to a decision victory.

Source: Sherdog

Brian Stann's return to light heavyweight only temporary
By Ariel Helwani
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Brian Stann's return to light heavyweight will only be a pit stop.

A day after news broke that the popular "All-American" will meet Wanderlei Silva in a 205-pound bout at UFC on FUEL TV 8, Stann took to Twitter to explain why the fight isn't take place at middleweight, which is where both fighters have fought recently.

"I am not moving to (light heavyweight)," he wrote, "just one fight, couldn't find a match-up at 185 (pounds), everyone is matched up or hurt in top ten & Wand doesn't want to cut."

The last time Stann (12-5) fought at light heavyweight he lost to Phil Davis at UFC 109 in Feb. 2010. Since then, he's 4-2 as a middleweight.

Source: MMA Fighting

TUF 16 Regular Season TV Ratings End Things on the Low Side

The final regular season episode of The Ultimate Fighter 16 is in the books and the TV ratings are in.

Episode 12 of TUF 16 pulled in average of 678,000 viewers for the semifinal bouts, setting up the final between Team Carwin’s Mike Ricci and Team Nelson’s Colton Smith.

The ratings ended on somewhat of a sour note for a season that struggled mightily in that department. The TUF 16 average was 829,250 viewers per episode, so even that less than stellar number was better than Friday’s 678,000 viewers.

The ratings are sure to be better for this weekend’s TUF 16 Finale, as the UFC’s live events always pull in much stronger TV ratings than the reality series.

The TUF 16 Finale takes place Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Source: MMA Weekly

Renzo Gracie Receives Legend Award
Dan Rod

New Jersey does it again – The state responsible for creating the de facto standard set of rules for professional mixed martial arts across North America, sanctioning bouts back when mainstream America didn’t think of Martial Arts as a sport, just pioneered an MMA and Muay Thai Hall of Fame inducting the state’s most important contributors to these sports.

With a strong tradition in MMA, New Jersey houses quite a few martial arts VIPs, many of them recognized during the awards ceremony. Some names are quite well known in the Jiu-Jitsu community as well, since their contributions started with a gi on the tatami. Such is the case of Legend Award recipient Renzo Gracie and MMA Judge of the Year Ricardo Almeida.

We caught up with Renzo during the festivities to get his thoughts on being officially declared a legend but he is not ready to rest on his laurels just yet – he is getting ready for a fight! Check out the interview below.

The event was a dinner gala that took place at the Crowne Plaza Meadowlands Hotel ballroom on Friday December 7, 2012 and was organized by Dead Serious Promotions and the Fighting Perez Family. After the dinner and awards the guests took the time to do a little dancing, this time without throwing punches at each other.

Here is the full list of inductees:

2012 Inaugural Class Inductee Awards

Legend Award - Renzo Gracie

Lifetime Achievement Award – Louis Neglia

MMA Fighter of the Year – Frankie Edgar

MMA Female Fighter of the Year – Munah Holland

Muay Thai Fighter of the Year – Ognjen Topic

Muay Thai female fighter of the Year - Prairie Rugilo

MMA Trainer of the Year – Mike Constantino

Muay Thai Trainer(s) of the Year – Ray Cruz and Joe Bumanlag

MMA Promoter of the Year – Rob Haydak

Muay Thai Promoter of the Year – Warriors Cup

MMA Matchmaker of the Year – Sam Caplan

Muay Thai Matchmaker of the Year – Chris Tran

Muay Thai Referee of the Year – Coban

MMA Referee of the Year – Dan Miragliotta

MMA Judge of the Year – Ricardo Almeida

Muay Thai Judge of the Year – Vladimir Borodine

Ringside Physician of the Year – Dr. Sherry Wulkan

Announcer of the Year – Kevin Garvey

Media Personality of the Year – Jim Genia

Pioneer MMA Fighter Award – Dave Tirelli

Outstanding Achievement in MMA – Kurt Pellegrino

Renzo Gracie, on becoming a legend:

Renzo, how do you feel after winning the legend award for the first ever N.J. MMA Hall of Fame?

Initially I thought this was an award they gave to old people. And it’s funny because Nick Lembo [N.J. State Athletic Control Board Legal Counsel] began his speech with “This started this way and I didn’t know where it was gonna end up. He said [some more words] and now it’s gonna end up here giving you this award” and the first thing that came to my mind was “I know where it began – I was five years old when I had my first experience training Jiu-Jitsu in the gym and I know that is not over yet. It’s not gonna end it yet.” This next year I am fighting again, you know? So they are giving a legend award, that they are supposed to give to old people, to a young boy who’s gonna be banging again next year!

So, when is your fight next year?

I hope soon. I am already in shape and ready to go, man. I can’t wait! I can’t wait to setup a date! Soon it will be announced.

You didn’t get this award for nothing. You came here to the United States and almost every single guy that was there on the podium today mentioned your contribution to MMA not only in N.J., but in the whole country of the United States. So, how do you feel yourself about this contribution and how hard was the road to get here?

Here’s the beauty, I had an extremely good tool which was Jiu-Jitsu. It was easy to touch so many souls having such an efficient tool. Jiu-Jitsu was what really made me what I am. I am Jiu-Jitsu and I think Jiu-Jitsu is me. If you pull one out the other I don’t believe either will be the same. And I can prove that tonight. I have been in Jersey for 18 years and every soul that I touched was here tonight, receiving an award. So, this shows the good work Jiu-Jitsu did. Guys that I had the chance to take under my tutelage, to teach them, that I had the privilege to be the mentor, to guide them, to see them receive an award is better than I was receiving myself.

Source: Gracie Magazine

Engineer-by-day James Head anticipates big 2012 finish at TUF 16 Finale
by John Morgan

james-head-2.jpgMove over, Shane Carwin. There's a new engineer in town.

Carwin, the massive heavyweight and coach on "The Ultimate Fighter 16," has long balanced a day job as an engineer with his fighting responsibilities. As it turns out, he's not the only athlete on the UFC roster embarking on such a journey.

UFC welterweight prospect James Head (9-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC), who fights Mike Pyle (23-8-1 MMA, 6-3 UFC) at Saturday's The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale event in Las Vegas, is seeking his third straight UFC victory. He's also kept his position in Oklahoma as a petroleum engineer along the way.

"I drill oil and gas wells – designing and then managing the day-to-day operations of the drilling rigs," Head told ( "I have three different rigs that I'm the engineer on.

"It's not a cut-and-dry job. There's lots of different variables, so it keeps me on my toes and keeps me busy, for sure."

And it's not exactly a part-time position. To the contrary, Head has 7 a.m. work meetings each weekday, so he rises early to get in a strength-and-conditioning session before he reports to work each morning. Lunch break provides another opportunity to sneak in a workout, and then the bulk of his fight-specific training is done after business.

It wouldn't seem to be the ideal arrangement for an elite athlete, but the 28-year-old Head said it all works out just fine.

"Quitting the job has crossed my mind, but at the same time I really love my job, and I'm fortunate to have both avenues to work in," Head said. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't have hard days at work and think, 'Man, I should just give this up and concentrate on fighting,' or vice versa, but I'm really enjoying the ride that both paths are taking me on. I really like the challenges that each one presents uniquely."

As it turns out, oil fields aren't the only focus of Head's engineering skills. With the help of a few medical professionals, the 6-foot-2 Head also recently schemed a drop from middleweight down to 170 pounds. Head made the welterweight move after losing his UFC debut to Nick Ring, but he explained it's a decision he was already well on his way to making before that result.

"I had been thinking about it in the past," Head said. "I made it through all the cuts for 'The Ultimate Fighter 13,' when they were going to do it with 185-pounders and 170-pounders on the show. At the last minute, they decided to go with just the welterweights.

"They asked me if I thought I could make 170 pounds. I told them of course I could. I'd do anything if that's what it took. When they asked me, I had no idea if I really could. I had never been that small and competed, but that's what I told them. So whenever I got back from the tryouts in Vegas, I went and saw a bone composition specialist at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center."

After performing a battery of screens, including a bone-density exam, physicians told Head he would be safe to compete at 170 pounds. Unfortunately, he had already qualified for "TUF" as a middleweight, so he kept his body ready for 185 pounds.

It turned out first to be a curse, but a blessing would soon follow.

"I was supposed to fly out for 'TUF' on a Tuesday," Head recalled. "They called me like two days before and told me the news that they had changed their mind but thank you and you won't have to try out when we have 185-pounders. We'll just bring you on the show. So it was really a blessing in disguise. I was going to have to ask my job for a leave of absence and all that other stuff.

"At that point, I got a call a month later to fight Gerald Harris locally. That was right after he got cut from the UFC. I took that fight at 185 pounds (and won), and then a couple months later (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva called with the Nick Ring fight. I took it. Even though I had 170 pounds in the back of my head, when Joe Silva calls you, you say yes."

Unfortunately for him, things didn't go Head's way. Fighting in Ring's Canadian backyard, Head lost via submission in the third round. His next appearance was 10 months later, which allowed him to complete the planned drop to 170 pounds. However, the assignment wasn't much easier. In his welterweight debut, Head traveled to Sweden to take on local star Papy Abedi, a heavily hyped prospect. This time, Head capitalized on the opportunity with a first-round submission win.

He returned to the octagon at July at UFC 149, where he earned a split-decision victory over longtime veteran Brian Ebersole, whose awkward style contributed to a less-than-thrilling affair. Head was happy with the win, but he knows it wasn't his best performance.

"Brian Ebersole is such a hard guy to look good against," Head said. "He's so awkward that I couldn't really get my timing going. I couldn't get the things I really wanted to do done, and those are the main things I was really disappointed about.

"I'm a pretty big critic of myself, so I'm mad I didn't let my hands go a little bit more and really push the action. But I think I won each round. I don't think he did any damage really in any of the rounds. I'm chalking it up as a great learning experience to be in there with somebody with more than 70 fights."

Head gets another big opportunity when he faces Pyle on the FUEL TV-broadcast preliminary card of Saturday's TUF 16 Finale card. The two cap off the evening's prelims prior to the night's FX-broadcast main card.

"This is kind of like the last one," Head said. "He's got 10 UFC fights and 30 fights in his career. He's another very game dude, and he's going to show up – consummate professional. I'm really looking forward to it.

"I think we match up really well. He might try to stand up a little bit more than Ebersole did. I'm really looking forward to getting in there and beating him up."

A victory isn't going to earn Head a title shot, but it certainly might finally get him some attention. After all, three straight UFC victories is always a fine accomplishment, regardless of circumstances.

"If I could close out 2012 with three wins in a new division, I think it might open a lot of people's eyes," he said.

But Head is in no particular rush. He's already put in the work to make it to this point. What comes next is unclear, but Head knows any sizable structure needs a firm foundation. Knocking out "Quicksand" would certainly offer a nice step in that direction.

"If I'm under the radar, that's fine," Head said. "I'll continue to do what I have to do to climb the ladder, but this fight is definitely a step in the fight direction.

"Pyle is a top-15 guy in the world, and that's where I want to be. I want to test myself in competition, and the UFC's allowing me to do that. I can't be any more thankful."

Source: MMA Junkie

UFC on FX 6 predictions
By Luke Thomas
Brendon Thorne

The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): Smashes has come to a conclusion, which is capped off by Friday's finale in their welterweight and lightweight finals. Alongside them are the coaches battle as well as a middleweight bout featuring one Brazilian and another Cuban-born Australian living in America. It's not a terrible main card, but it's nothing even approximating spectacular either.

Still, there's a question about what either George Sotiropoulos or Ross Pearson has left at lightweight. The Australian is 35 and hasn't won since 2010. Pearson has had legal troubles from drinking and has been inconsistent of late in his career. A big win here can do wonders for their now-troubled careers.

There's also the issue of Hector Lombard. Can he rebound after a disappointing UFC debut? Can Palhares get back on the winning track with his ferocious leg lock game? I try to answer these questions and others with my predictions for Friday's event.

What: UFC on FX 6

Where: Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

When: Friday, the six-fight FUEL TV card kicks off at 6 p.m. ET and the four-fight FX fights start at 9 p.m. ET.

Predictions for the four main card fights airing Friday on FX are below.

George Sotiropoulos vs. Ross Pearson

I might live to regret this. I tend to believe Sotiropoulos is the sort of fighter who thrives with time off rather than rusts. And I'm not wild about Pearson's chances either. Both had nice runs in the UFC up through 2010 and have been inconsistent of late, to put it mildly. Still, I'm going to go with the Brit. For starters, he's younger and while he's taken a ton of a damage, I still pick his chin over the Australian's in a fire fight. Second, Pearson is only giving up two inches in reach, which is not a huge amount to overcome. It's not as if Sotiropoulos has a stinging, consistent jab. Most importantly, though, is Pearson's takedown defense. Certainly Sotiropoulos can win anywhere, but he's at his best when he's mixing it up. He's going to have a hard time doing that against Pearson who has surprisingly good ability to nullify the takedowns of opposition.

Honestly, this is not the sort of fight where one competitor enters with a ton of momentum or an obvious advantage. It also isn't the sort of fight where neither has a glaring deficiency. But all things being equal (so to speak), I like the Brit to upset.

Pick: Pearson

Hector Lombard vs. Rousimar Palhares

This is going to be madness for about two minutes of the first round. After that, the Cuban should cruise. Say what you want about Lombard's performance against Tim Boetsch, the guy is still extremely talented. He still has much of his athleticism left and downright sensational takedown defense. Ditto for submission defense, too. It's true Palhares is the sort of expert who can make black belts like Lombard look foolish, but I don't see it happening. Lombard's going to stuff Palhares' attempts en route to a TKO finish.

Pick: Lombard

Colin Fletcher vs. Norman Parke

The talent on this version of TUF leaves a lot to be desired. This bout is no exception. There's parity between the two, so it should be competitive and fun, but this is not particularly high-level MMA. That said, I like Fletcher here. Parke's vaunted wrestling is fine for safe decisions, but it's not overly smothering and Fletcher is a larger lightweight than many. It's a pick 'em, but I'm more convinced of the upside in Fletcher.

Pick: Fletcher

Brad Scott vs. Robert Whittaker

I'm not sure about the well-roundedness of his game just yet (both Whittaker and Scott are very young fighters), but the Australian has big power. It's how he's punched - no pun intended - his ticket to the finals. Scott, by contrast, has relied on more of his tools to get things done, but has also eeked by. They both have a common opponent in Xavier Lucas and it was Whittaker who breezed by him. There's no reason to think he can't do the same to Scott.

Pick: Whittaker

Source: MMA Fighting

‘The Ultimate Fighter 16’ Finale Prelims: 5 Reasons to Watch
By Brian Knapp

In terms of degree of difficulty, Tim Elliott’s Ultimate Fighting Championship debut -- a short-notice call to arms against top flyweight contender John Dodson in May -- could not have been much steeper.

Elliott will have a full and focused training camp behind him for his sophomore Octagon appearance, as he meets former King of the Cage champion Jared Papazian at “The Ultimate Fighter 16” Finale this Saturday at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

A state high school wrestling champion in Kansas, Elliott wrestled collegiately at the University of Central Oklahoma. After starting his professional mixed martial arts career with a draw and two losses, the Grindhouse MMA export settled in and rattled off eight consecutive victories, seven of them finishes. His tear included a December 2011 knockout of former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver and a 28-second brabo choke finish on Josh Rave three months later, resulting in a phone call from Zuffa.

Elliott acquitted himself well against Dodson, ultimately losing a competitive 29-28 unanimous decision. He remained aggressive throughout, threw everything he had at the man they call “The Magician” and did his best work in the third round. More importantly, Elliott showed no signs of the Octagon jitters that have plagued so many other newcomers.

In Papazian, Elliott confronts an adversary desperate to solidify his place in the UFC. The former bantamweight came up short in his first two assignments with the promotion, losing a majority decision to Mike Easton in January before succumbing to a first-round rear-naked choke from Dustin Pague in June. The 24-year-old Papazian had won eight of his previous nine bouts, including a five-round unanimous verdict over Dream and EliteXC veteran Abel Cullum that brought him 135-pound gold in King of the Cage. Five of his eight career defeats have come via choke-induced submission.

The Elliott-Papazian showdown is but one reason to check out “The Ultimate Fighter 16” Finale prelims on Facebook and Fuel TV. Here are four more:

Submission Specialist

No one will ever accuse former Shark Fights welterweight champion T.J. Waldburger of engaging in a boring fight.

Fifteen of the Texan’s 22 career bouts -- 11 of his wins and four of his losses -- have ended inside one round, four of them in less than a minute. The 24-year-old Waldburger last appeared at UFC on FX 4 in June, when he lost a unanimous decision to Brian Ebersole in Atlantic City, N.J. He had the durable Ebersole in serious trouble in round one, as Waldburger floored him with a short left hand before wrapping him in an anaconda choke. Alas, he could not close the deal and ultimately fell behind on the scorecards. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt with a treacherous guard, he has secured 12 of his 15 wins by submission.

Waldburger will aim for his seventh victory in nine outings when he faces former Ring of Combat champion Nick Catone on the undercard.

Here’s Johnny

More than a year has passed since Johnny Bedford last set foot inside the cage.

A semifinalist on Season 14 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” the 29-year-old Woodville, Ohio, native made his promotional debut at “The Ultimate Fighter 14” Finale in December 2011, when he stopped Team Tiger Schulmann standout Louis Gaudinot on third-round knees to the body. He has not fought since, injuries and fight cancellations curbing his activity. A proven finisher who benefits from his spindly 5-foot-10 frame and 71-inch reach at 135 pounds, Bedford has delivered 14 of his 18 professional victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.

Marcos Vinicius Borges Pancini would like nothing more than to ruin his return. Brimming with confidence, the Brazilian has 20 wins on his resume, all of them finishes.

Crouching Tiger

The UFC struck gold with Russian lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov. Perhaps it can do the same with Rustam Khabilov.

A One Fighting Championship and M-1 Global veteran, Khabilov is one split verdict away from being undefeated. The 26-year-old former world sambo champion will enter his first UFC gig on the strength of a three-fight winning streak, including a unanimous decision victory over the well-traveled Jason Dent in May. Khabilov has put down roots at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, N.M.

“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 semifinalist Vinc Pichel has designs on spoiling his arrival. The unbeaten 30-year-old was primed for his first UFC appearance in June, only to see his bout scrapped when James Vick was not cleared to compete. In what can only be described as a statistical anomaly, Pichel has scored six of his seven victories by knockout or technical knockout in the second round.

Hungry Wolverine

Mike Rio understands the demands success requires.

A three-time national wrestling champion in college, the 31-year-old Miami native will finally get his long-awaited crack at the big show when he locks horns with the Hardcore Gym’s John Cofer in a preliminary lightweight clash. Rio, who competed on Season 15 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” has not fought in nearly a year. He suffered his only professional setback in 2011, when he lost on points to Efrain Escudero under the Championship Fighting Alliance banner.

Cofer undoubtedly wants a second chance to make a first impression. He was victimized by a second-round head kick from Justin Lawrence at “The Ultimate Fighter 15” Finale in June.

Source: Sherdog

Jon Jones Isn’t Looking for Superfight, but He’s Not Afraid of Anderson Silva or Any Man
by Damon Martin

The subject of superfights have been coming up a lot lately, primarily due to UFC icon Anderson Silva looking for the biggest match-ups possible.

He had been targeting a showdown with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, but now that fight appears all but dead in the water with the Canadian likely to face Nick Diaz in his next trip to the Octagon.

So when Silva does return in 2013, he will either be fighting at middleweight or could he possibly move back up to 205 pounds for a challenge against light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in another potential superfight?

For months, both Jones and Silva downplayed the possible fight from ever happening, but as the pressure mounts, neither fighter has completely shot down the idea lately.

Jones says he’s not looking to fight Silva, but it’s no secret because as a fighter you want to face the best of the best, and Anderson Silva certainly defines greatness in MMA.

“I think superfights are important for the sport, important for legacies. A desire to compete in one, I really don’t have it because I don’t desire to compete against anyone in particular,” said Jones.

“Unless someone comes and challenges me, I’m fine going on my merry way and competing against these light heavyweights.”

Jones will next compete against fellow Ultimate Fighter coach Chael Sonnen in late April, and by then there may already be another challenger or two awaiting him at 205 pounds.

Still, the potential of a superfight against Anderson Silva can’t be ignored, and while Jones won’t go the route of calling for the bout to happen, he does say anything’s possible.

“Everything’s a possibility. I do believe that we’re put on this earth to think big and dream big, and not limiting ourselves, and fighting Anderson would be a definitely testament of my faith, and my warrior spirit,” said Jones.

“So who knows what will happen in the future.”

One thing is for sure though because, while Jones isn’t trying to call out Anderson Silva or tell the UFC that’s the fight that he wants, he’s not going to back down from the challenge and he’s not scared to face him in the Octagon.

As great as Anderson Silva is as a mixed martial artist, Jones doesn’t fear him, or anybody else for that matter.

“I’m totally not afraid of Anderson,” said Jones. “Not afraid of any man.”

Source: MMA Weekly


Dana White Believes B.J. Penn Will Probably Retire from MMA

It’s not the way he wanted it to go, but Saturday night may have marked the last appearance for B.J. Penn inside the UFC Octagon.

Penn lost a one-sided unanimous decision to Canadian young gun Rory MacDonald, which marks his second loss in a row and moves his record to 1-4-1 over his last six fights.

The Hawaiian came back after more than a year away from fighting when he announced his retirement in 2011 following a loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137.

Now with the loss to MacDonald in the books, UFC President Dana White believes Penn has done all he needs to do in MMA and the UFC, and it’s time to call it a career.

“He didn’t say it tonight, but I think B.J. is probably going to retire, and I wouldn’t mind seeing that. He came back with a fire lit under him. That kid looked so good tonight, Rory looked better than he’s ever looked, the body punches that he threw, you don’t see body punches like that in mixed martial arts. He really put it to B.J. tonight,” White said when speaking with Fuel TV.

Despite taking a massive amount of punishment throughout the 15-minute affair, Penn stuck through it all and never gave up despite MacDonald’s best efforts to finish the fight. Penn showed a ton of heart and toughness, but it wasn’t enough to win or stay competitive against MacDonald on Saturday.

“B.J. is a warrior, talk about a guy that doesn’t give up, and doesn’t quit and just keeps coming. I have so much respect for B.J., I always have, even through the good times and the bad times. I’d like to see him retire,” said White.

Fighting in the UFC since 2001, Penn has been a major part of the organization for many years, and he will continue to work with the promotion through their joint gym venture in his home state of Hawaii.

But with that project as well as all of the other earnings he’s had over the years, Penn isn’t fighting for the money, and he’s been a two-weight class champion already, so White believes it’s just his time to walk away.

“He’s got plenty of money, he’s got a great family who loves him, he’s got babies, a beautiful wife. He’s our partner in the B.J. Penn/UFC gym, he has nothing left to prove to anybody, and everybody loves him,” White stated.

“I’d like to see B.J. retire.”

Source: MMA Weekly

UFC on Fox 5 Results: Rory MacDonald Decimates BJ Penn, Wants Revenge on Carlos Condit

Rory MacDonald at UFC 129Call it a passing of the torch because Rory MacDonald officially arrived on Saturday with a one-sided, dominant win over UFC legend B.J. Penn.

To come out of retirement, Penn specifically asked the UFC to face MacDonald at welterweight, and from everything leading up to the fight, it looked like the Hawaiian was back to form.

Penn brought in an All-Star group of training partners, cut down his body fat, and promised great cardio come fight night. None of it mattered because Rory MacDonald had other plans.

The young Canadian, who has been called a future champion by just about everyone this side of Georges St-Pierre, did not disappoint with his performance in his biggest fight to date.

MacDonald punished Penn to the body with nasty punches and kicks, especially in the second round when he trapped the former champion against the cage and absolutely unloaded with rib shattering shot after shot. Penn could only stand there and take the punches, as referee Herb Dean stepped in close to stopping the bout.

Penn persevered but only to absorb more punishment from MacDonald for the remainder of the fight.

If there was a turning point in the fight it may have been when MacDonald started to taunt and showboat in front of a gassed out Penn, who offered up very little resistance by that stage of the fight. The crowd booed MacDonald in unison, but that didn’t change what was happening inside the Octagon.

When the final horn sounded, MacDonald looked like a lion, and Penn a freshly hunted lamb.

The final scores showcased just how dominant MacDonald was in the fight, but instead of talking about his devastating victory, he only had one thing on his mind – revenge.

“There’s a guy that humiliated me a couple years ago, I want my revenge. Carlos Condit I want a rematch, accept my challenge. Let’s do it in March in my home territory again, and I’m going to get my revenge,” MacDonald said after the fight.

Condit knocked out MacDonald in 2010, viciously finishing the fight with strikes on the ground in the Canadian’s backyard of Vancouver.

Now the only thing MacDonald wants is a shot at revenge against the only man to defeat him in his young MMA career.

Source: MMA Weekly

UFC on Fox 5 Results: Alexander Gustafsson Grinds Out Decision; Gets Next Title Shot

SEATTLE – Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson (14-1-0) has cemented his place as the No. 1 contender for the UFC light heavyweight title with an unanimous decision win over Brazilian Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (21-7-0) in the co-main event at UFC on Fox 5 from the KeyArena in Seattle.

Gustafsson wasted no time, immediately going on the attack and dropped Rua before switching to ground and pound. The Brazilian then turned the tables with a leg lock on Gustafsson who was in trouble momentarily, but the Swede escaped. Gustafsson controlled the remaining stages of the round working his knees from the Thai clinch.

Both fighters came out swinging in round two and Gustafsson was clipped by a Rua shot before a right hand down the pipe rocked the 25-year-old. Gustafsson then closed the distance, working from the clinch before scoring a couple of takedowns in the second half of the round to secure the point.

Rua was beginning to gas as they entered the final frame and Gustafsson continued to score with his takedowns on the Brazilian before letting him stand back up. Rua was hurt by a liver shot from the Swede and was backpedalling, but Gustafsson continued to stalk, picking his shots on Rua before again scoring with takedowns.

It was a dominant performance by Gustafsson, who picked up a wide decision on the scorecards (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).

Providing that everything goes to plan, Gustafsson will step in the Octagon to fight for the UFC light heavyweight title against the winner of the fight between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen currently scheduled for April 2013.

Source: MMA Weekly

Benson Henderson Reigns Supreme with Shutout Performance Over Nate Diaz

Benson Henderson 545 WEC 46Prior to Saturday night, UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson said he wasn’t worried about winning pretty or winning ugly so long as he came away with the victory.

See questions had been raised about Henderson’s status as lightweight champion after two razor close decisions with former title holder Frankie Edgar, and everyone wondered if he needed to go out and dominate Nate Diaz at UFC on Fox 5 to define his reign atop the division.

Again and again, Henderson dispelled that rumor and said he just wanted to win by any means necessary, so long as he went home with the title.

Well, Henderson fooled everybody because he had no intentions of letting Nate Diaz even hold his UFC lightweight title, much less win it on Saturday night in Seattle.

What took place at UFC on Fox 5 was nothing short of a statement from Benson Henderson as he served notice to everyone at 155lbs that he is the best in the world, and he plans on holding onto the belt for a long time to come.

Everyone knew going into the fight with Nate Diaz that Henderson had the superior wrestling and strength, but from the moment the fight started, the champion was all over the challenger both on the feet and on the ground. Henderson attacked with axe like leg kicks that punished Diaz, and then came upstairs with big power to drop the Stockton, California native a couple of times during the fight.

Henderson’s ability to keep Diaz off balance was truly the difference in the fight because all he could do was try to counter the champion’s offense. At every turn, Henderson was in Diaz’s face with powerful strikes, followed up by powerful wrestling and suffocating control on the ground.

There just never seemed to be a moment when Diaz found his rhythm, and Henderson found a home for every attack he launched at the contender. The total strikes tell the story of the main event with Henderson landing 124 significant strikes to Diaz’s 30 according to Fight Metric.

Once the fight was over, the scores from the judges were just a formality because Benson Henderson clearly won and now defines himself as the best lightweight on the planet. To hear him tell it though, the fight was already won before he ever stepped foot in the Octagon.

The win came from months of preparation, and all Henderson had to do was unleash it in the cage on Saturday night.

“It’s just a matter of being well prepared, being in the gym as much as possible. All these guys talk about being fighters and “oh they train this hard”, and Nate also trains his butt off, freaking tough as heck, but at the MMA Lab in Glendale, Arizona we’re all about being well prepared,” Henderson stated.

While the champion could have easily talked after the fight about his second title defense in 2012, or what challengers he wanted to face next, Henderson took the time to pay tribute to some people close to him dealing with much tougher situations than a fight in the UFC.

Henderson dedicated the fight and victory to the mother of a pair of teammates currently dealing with cancer, and one of his business partners who recently lost his son in a hiking accident.

“Fighting is just a small part, there’s a lot more to life guys,” said Henderson. “Hug on your loved ones, cherish them, these moments that we have together they’re a lot shorter than you think.”

Source: MMA Weekly

The UFC, Jiu-Jitsu and MMA World’s Most Impactful Statements of the Week

“How can I keep one of my athletes from his dream of winning the belt?”

Dedé Pederneiras, explaining to reporter Ana Hissa why he will be sitting in the stands during the Bellator bantamweight-title fight between Nova União teammates Eduardo Dantas and Marcos “Loro” Galvão next February.

“When I started in Jiu-Jitsu, I was in Rio de Janeiro on vacation. … And I met Mr Gracie, the father. I met Rickson Gracie, who was the world champion at that time, and Royce Gracie. … Mr Gracie said, ‘Chuck, let’s, you and I, grapple.’ … I brought my hand back [to punch him], and that’s the last thing I remember.

Chuck Norris, actor

“I’m really glad Nick [Diaz] will finally get a chance to fight GSP. This shows that the fans have more power than corrupt judges.”

Cesar Gracie, after GSP asked Dana White to face Nick Diaz

Source: Gracie Magazine

Addition of Ronda Rousey bolsters UFC, opens sport of MMA up to greater audience

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 06: Ronda Rousey poses for photos after being presented with the UFC women's bantamweight championship during the UFC on FOX press conference on December 6, 2012 at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington.

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 06: Ronda Rousey poses for photos after being presented with the UFC women's bantamweight championship during the UFC on FOX press conference on December 6, 2012 at Key Arena in Seattle, …

Stars are the lifeblood of any sport, but particularly individual sports. The athletes who appeal to the casual fan and the non-sports fan are the ones who account for big events and help the sport grow.

On Thursday, the UFC officially added another transcendent star, and the reverberations from the move will have a significant impact on the company's business.

Ronda Rousey is now the women's bantamweight champion and will headline UFC 157 on Feb. 23 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., against Liz Carmouche.

A great deal of attention will be paid over the next few months to the fact that the UFC has added a women's division, but the more significant news is the addition of Rousey's outsized persona.

UFC president Dana White said he believes she can surpass Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell in star power. Ronda Rousey poses for a picture during a Strikeforce event. Ronda Rousey poses for a picture during a Strikeforce event.

"Yeah, no doubt about it," White said. "She's definitely better looking than Chuck Liddell. She speaks well. The media loves her. It's hard not to like her. Some people don't like her and don't like the way she talks. But regardless of what you think of her personality or what you think about her, she's a mean, nasty fighter, she likes to finish people, and that's what I look for, and that's what I care about.

"She's got everything. She's incredibly talented."

How many fighters ever appear on Jim Rome's show without a fight to sell? Her notoriety will only grow with the pulpit the UFC provides.

She may develop into the company's top attraction before long. She has all the elements required for stardom. She's already a superstar in the cage and in just over two years, she's become the dominant fighter in her division.

She still hasn't had to go past the first round and she's already beaten the best the division has to offer.

In addition, she's attractive and has a quick wit and an acerbic tongue. She has a sixth sense for making headlines; she said she'd like to beat up Kim Kardashian and told Rome on his Showtime show that she likes to have as much sex as possible before a fight.

Do you think that last revelation might leave some of her fans panting as they watch the clip of the interview again (and again and again)?

Rousey told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday that she was pleased to be able to finally talk openly. Since the rumors began a month ago about her move to the UFC, the normally blunt judoka had to tap dance around questions.

"I hated to have to offend a lot of people in the media," Rousey said of the calls and texts she received. "I hate to be a jerk, but I was kind of forced to be a jerk for a while. I'm glad I can talk about it."

The UFC chose Carmouche as her opponent after several other fighters declined a shot. One of those, according to White, was Cris "Cyborg" Santos, the former Strikeforce featherweight champion.

Santos said she won't be able to make the cut to 135 pounds safely by February, so she declined the offer.

Rousey had called Santos out after her last successful title defense – in the first round, by arm bar, of course – in August against Sarah Kaufman.

On Thursday, Rousey was philosophical. She heaped praise on Carmouche as an opponent while admitting she had wanted to fight Santos.

"I'm happy to be fighting Liz because when she was given a chance to step up and fight for the UFC title, she said yes," Rousey said. "She's going to fight with no fear, with nothing to lose, and I like that. She's going to be more of a grappling opponent and I'll have to be prepared for that because she's a tough, tough chick.

"Maybe it's for the best that it works out this way. We can still fight down the road, and that will be a big fight when it happens."

[Also: Nate Diaz emerged from rough upbringing to contend for a UFC title]

Though White loves to refer to first-time UFC fighters as having to overcome the UFC jitters, Rousey insisted it won't be an issue.

She won a bronze medal in judo in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and said nothing could compare to that.

"It's one day that you've put in four years of work, a lifetime of work, actually, for that moment," she said. "To me, that's always going to be the ultimate."

For the UFC, though, having Rousey in the fold is the ultimate. Her signing will broaden the sport's fan base and introduce it to new fans.

Nothing is more important to a fight promotion than that.

Source: Yahoo Sports


UFC on Fox 5 Results: Matt Brown Dominates Then Knocks Out Mike Swick

SEATTLE – Matt ‘The Immortal’ Brown (16-11-0) continued his UFC resurgence with a second-round knockout win over Mike Swick (15-5-0) in the opening main card fight at UFC on Fox 5 from the KeyArena in Seattle.

Brown was looking to come forward off the opening bell and was hit by some stiff resistance from Swick, but he persevered and got the takedown, immediately looking for the neck of Swick. He was able to lock in a D’arce choke and was desperately trying to hold on as Swick planned his escape.

Swick broke free, but was quickly locked in a triangle, but the 33-year-old showed his patience to bring the fight back to the feet.

Brown came out attacking in the second round, and landed a solid elbow on Swick, who was looking wobbly on his feet. Brown sensed this coming forward, landing a left hook that sent Swick tumbling, but before he could hit the ground, Brown landed a flush right hand knocking Swick out cold. The referee quickly ran in waving the fight away at 2:31 of round two.

The win was Brown’s fourth in succession, while Swick has lost three of his last four UFC fights.

Source: MMA Weekly

By the Numbers: UFC on Fox 5

This time, Benson Henderson left no room for debate. After two contentious decision triumphs over Frankie Edgar earlier this year, “Smooth” was thoroughly dominant in taking a unanimous verdict against Nate Diaz in the UFC on Fox 5 main event on Saturday night at the Key Arena in Seattle.

The MMA Lab product utilized leg kicks, clinches, takedowns and ground-and-pound to impose his will on Diaz, who carried an impressive three-fight winning streak at lightweight into the title tilt. While Henderson re-asserted himself at 155 pounds, two rising talents – Alexander Gustafsson and Rory MacDonald – made themselves known with emphatic victories over legendary figures.

Gustafsson mixed takedowns and striking effectively to defeat onetime 205-pound titlist Mauricio Rua, while MacDonald overwhelmed former multi-divisional champion B.J. Penn for three rounds in a welterweight clash. Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC on Fox 5, with statistics courtesy of

124: Significant strikes landed by Henderson, more than he has landed in any other bout in the UFC and WEC – five round contests included. His previous best of 87 came in a five-round triumph over Frankie Edgar at UFC 144.

49: Leg strikes landed by Henderson, who limited Diaz’s vaunted volume boxing by consistently attacking his lead leg. Diaz, meanwhile, landed 15 leg kicks.

100: Total ground strikes landed by Henderson. “Smooth” scored takedowns in each round and was able to consistently punish Diaz with ground-and-pound throughout the contest.

30: Significant strikes landed by Diaz -- 208 less than the promotional record he set against Donald Cerrone in a three-round affair at UFC 141.

8: Takedowns executed, in 12 attempts, by Henderson, equaling the fighter’s Zuffa best, originally set against Donald Cerrone at WEC 43. “Smooth” took down his foe at least once in each frame, including a 3-for-3 effort in round four. Joe Stevenson also took Diaz down eight times at the “TUF 9” finale in 2009.

22: Submissions attempted by Diaz in his UFC career, tying him with Georges St. Pierre for No. 5 on the promotion’s all-time list. The Cesar Gracie student attempted two submissions against Henderson, with both tries coming in the third frame.

32: Submissions successfully defended in 12 UFC and WEC bouts for Henderson. Most notably, the MMA Lab representative thwarted nine of Cerrone’s submission attempts at WEC 43.

6: Takedowns landed in 12 attempts by Gustafsson, his most in eight UFC bouts. The Swede’s previous high of two culminated in a second-round submission victory over Cyrille Diabate at UFC 120.

0-3: Record for Rua in UFC bouts that go the distance. Prior to losing a decision to Gustafsson, the Brazilian dropped five-round verdicts to both Dan Henderson at UFC 139 and Lyoto Machida at UFC 104. “Shogun” is 5-2 in UFC bouts ending by knockout or submission.

41: Significant strikes landed by Rua, the fewest the former Pride Fighting Championships star has landed in a bout that has gone at least three full rounds. By comparison, Gustafsson landed 72 signficant strikes in victory.

92: Significant strikes by which MacDonald outlanded Penn in their featured welterweight scrap. The Canadian was especially dominant in round two, when he repeatedly punished Penn with body shots against the fence en route to a 57-to-6 edge in significant strikes.

5:03:51: Total Octagon time for Penn, the most of anyone in UFC history. By going the distance with MacDonald, “The Prodigy” surpassed Tito Ortiz for the top spot on that list.

.190: Percentage of significant strikes landed by Mike Easton in his loss to Raphael Assuncao. “The Hulk” landed just 30 of 155 significant strikes attempted in the bantamweight bout, well off his career rate of 34 percent. By comparison, Assuncao landed 57 of his 156 significant strikes, a 37 percent clip.

1: Knockout loss in 29 professional appearances for Jeremy Stephens, who was finished by a counter right hook from Yves Edwards in their UFC on Fox 5 encounter on Saturday night.

4: Submission attempts by Joe Proctor in his unanimous decision loss to Ramsey Nijem. The Joe Lauzon protégé was taken down five times and outlanded 117 to 36 in total strikes in his second UFC appearance.

48: Significant strikes by which UFC debutante Abel Trujillo outlanded Marcus LeVesseur in their lightweight clash. The Blackzilians representative connected on 57 of his 75 significant strikes, a 76 percent clip. He also successfully defended eight of his opponent’s 10 takedown tries.

222: Total strikes landed by Dennis Siver in his lopsided unanimous decision victory over Nam Phan. The Russian-born German landed a whopping 63 significant strikes in round one, and outlanded his opponent by 198 strikes overall, including a 94-to-1 total strike edge in the final stanza.

.818: Percentage of John Albert fights that have ended inside of a single round. “The Ultimate Fighter 14” competitor was submitted by a Scott Jorgensen rear-naked choke at the 4:59 mark of the opening frame, his third straight opening-round submission defeat in the UFC.

Source: Sherdog

Top 5 Stories of the Week

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will waste no time in testing the pay-per-view drawing power of one Ronda Rousey.

Crowned as the first women’s champion in the promotion’s history on Thursday, Rousey will defend her 135-pound title against fellow Strikeforce import Liz Carmouche in the UFC 157 main event on Feb. 23 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. A bronze medalist in Olympic judo in 2008, Rousey has emerged as one of MMA’s newest superstars, finishing all six of her opponents with first-round armbars, five of them in less than a minute. Her list of victims includes Miesha Tate, whom she submitted in March to capture Strikeforce gold.

Carmouche, 28, began her professional career in 2010, rattling off five consecutive victories en route to title shot against then-Strikeforce bantamweight queen Marloes Coenen. Though “Girl-Rilla” gave the champion all she could handle, the experienced Coenen pulled out a fourth-round submission to retain her belt. A decision loss to Sarah Kaufman followed for Carmouche, who then rebounded with a pair of wins in her last two outings under the Invicta Fighting Championships banner, putting away Ashleigh Curry and Kaitlin Young.

Rousey, who turns 26 in February, can already feel the burden of expectation as part of the first-ever women’s fight inside the Octagon.

“I don’t even know what to make of it,” she said. “It means a lot, and I feel like we have a lot to prove at this event. No one is going to be disappointed. I think the women are here to stay, and we’re gonna prove it.”

Ronda Rousey to Defend Bantamweight Belt Against Liz Carmouche in UFC 157 Headliner

Ronda Rousey will put her newly christened UFC bantamweight title on the line against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157, promotion president Dana White announced Thursday. It will be the first women’s bout in the history of the Las Vegas-based organization.

At Thursday’s UFC on Fox 5 news conference, White officially introduced Rousey as the promotion’s inaugural women’s bantamweight champion. After he presented her with the belt, White revealed that Rousey would defend her crown against Carmouche in the UFC 157 headliner.

UFC 157 takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The organization’s confirmation of the contest comes after it was mistakenly announced that Rousey would face Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos at the Feb. 23 event. Santos quickly shot down the booking, however, stating that while her team had been negotiating with the UFC, she would be unable to make the cut down to 135 pounds in time for a February meeting with Rousey.

Nevertheless, “Cyborg” did reveal that if given more time to make her weight cut that she might be able to trim down to bantamweight in order to challenge for Rousey’s title, contradicting previous reports asserting that such a cut could cause health complications for the former Strikeforce featherweight champion.

While White stated that the Rousey-Santos contest was his first choice for the UFC 157 headliner, he also revealed that Carmouche was the most willing alternative opponent for the champion.

“[Rousey-Santos] was obviously the fight we wanted to make. We wanted to do that at 135 pounds, and we worked hard to make that fight. I believe that this fight will happen. I truly believe the next one will be the Cyborg fight at 135 pounds,” said White. “Let me put it to you this way: [Carmouche is] who wanted to fight [Rousey]. People aren’t kicking the doors down of Zuffa to fight her.”

A 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist, Rousey has made her name in MMA by hyperextending elbows seemingly at will, submitting each of her first six opponents in the first round with her patented straight armbar. The 25-year-old captured the Strikeforce bantamweight crown from Miesha Tate this past March and defended it successfully in August, stopping former titlist Sarah Kaufman in just 54 seconds.

“[The Santos fight] is going to happen eventually. I can’t make these girls fight me when I want them to fight me,” said Rousey. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Liz. She’s the only one that stepped up and said she wanted this fight right now. It speaks a lot to her. When the other girls actually want to come to the big show, they know where I’m at.

“I didn’t know about this until this morning. I don’t even know what to make of it. It means a lot, and I feel like we have a lot to prove at this event. No one is going to be disappointed. I think the women are here to stay and we’re gonna prove it.”

Carmouche, 28, began her pro career in 2010, rattling off five straight wins before earning a shot at then-Strikeforce bantamweight queen Marloes Coenen. Though “Girl-Rilla” gave the champion all she could handle, the experienced Coenen pulled out a fourth-round submission win to retain her belt. A decision loss to Sarah Kaufman would follow for Carmouche, who then rebounded with a pair of wins in her last two outings under the Invicta FC banner, finishing Ashleigh Curry and Kaitlin Young in April and July, respectively.

Source: Sherdog

Michael McDonald to Challenge Renan Barao for UFC Interim Bantamweight Belt in 2013

Renan “Barao” Pegado will defend his UFC interim bantamweight title against rising star Michael McDonald in 2013.

The planned booking was revealed on Tuesday’s episode of “UFC Tonight” on Fuel TV, though a specific date for the fight was not mentioned.

Barao won the interim title this past July by outpointing Urijah Faber at UFC 149 after undisputed champion Dominick Cruz pulled out of the bout due to a torn ACL. The Brazilian was then expected to face Cruz in a title unification bout when “The Dominator” returned from knee surgery, but Cruz’s comeback was cut short when he knee failed again last week in training, forcing him back onto the operating table.

“I was doing what I was allowed to do. I was on a good comeback, right on schedule, but apparently it just happened. I was training, and I found out the hard way that the cadaver tendon wasn’t as strong as it should have been at that point,” Cruz said during his “UFC Tonight” appearance. “It got weak, and it failed because it didn’t take to my body as well as it should have. I was in my brace when it occurred. I was doing everything I was allowed to. The cadaver didn’t take to my body, and the cadaver tendon failed and it split. It happens. There is nothing you can do.”

Barao, 25, has not lost in his last 30 outings, with only a 2007 no-contest blemishing his record since he he was defeated in his April 2005 pro debut. The hard-hitting Brazilian joined the UFC last year and has looked razor sharp thus far, besting Cole Escovedo, Brad Pickett, Scott Jorgensen and Faber en route to capturing the interim belt.

McDonald, meanwhile, has not competed since knocking out former World Extreme Cagefighting titlist Miguel Torres at UFC 145, undergoing hand surgery following the bout. Like Barao, “Mayday” has been perfect in his Octagon career thus far, posting four victories against no defeats. Prior to his finish of Torres, the 21-year-old competed thrice last year, besting Edwin Figueroa, Chris Cariaso and Alex Soto.

Source: Sherdog

Tachi Palace Update: TPF Matchmaker Confirms Casino’s Decision to Discontinue Events

After 11 years of promoting mixed martial arts, the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino is likely out of the fight business. confirmed the information with a source close to the situation, who verified that tribal council members have voted to discontinue Tachi Palace Fights during the council’s annual meeting to discuss the casino’s entertainment options in the coming year. As a result, TPF 16, which was scheduled to go down Feb. 21, will not take place. However, Sherdog’s source also stated that if the decision is disputed by the people of the tribe, the population’s opinion could sway the council to change its decision. Nevertheless, even if the tribe votes to challenge the council’s ruling, is unlikely the development would affect the cancellation of TPF 16, as the aforementioned process is not expected to come to a head until February or March, according to Sherdog’s source.

On Friday, was able to reach TPF matchmaker Richard Goodman for comment. Goodman, who assumed fight-booking duties several months ago following the departure of Tachi Palace Entertainment Director Jeremy Luchau, verified that the council has voted to discontinue events for the coming year but could not confirm any further details surrounding the development.

“Yes, unfortunately as of right now, the rumors are true,” Goodman told Sherdog. “ I do not exactly know what the process is, so I am not sure about the whole process with the tribe and its people. I would like to say that it has been an honor to work for the Tachi Palace for the past six years, and hopefully they will reconsider the decision that was made.

“This decision has not only affected the MMA world, but it has also affected the community and the local fighters. I would also like to thank West Coast Fighting Championships, Cage Combat, and Impact Fight management for reaching out to me and giving me an opportunity to work within their companies and organizations. Last but not least, I would like to thank Tedd Williams and Gladiator Challenge for their contributions to the growth of Tachi Palace Fights.”

Tachi Palace, which is owned and operated by the Tachi Yokut tribe on the Santa Rosa Rancheria reservation near Lemoore, Calif., began promoting mixed martial arts events in 2001 under the World Extreme Cagefighting banner, hosting 22 of the organization’s first 24 events before the WEC was bought out by Ultimate Fighting Championship parent company Zuffa at the end of 2006.

The Palace Fighting Championship was then formed and held its inaugural event at Tachi Palace in January 2007. The PFC would go on to host 17 of its 19 shows at the venue before it ceased operations in May 2009, prompting the creation of Tachi Palace Fights just two months later.

Since its inception, TPF has held over a dozen events, most recently promoting TPF 15 “Collision Course” on Nov. 15. That show was streamed live on and was headlined by a light heavyweight title tilt between Angel DeAnda and Anthony Ruiz, with DeAnda capturing the vacant belt via third-round technical knockout.

Source: Sherdog

War Machine: Toughest Part of Jail Is Getting Out

War Machine thought he’d done his time when he was released from jail in July 2011. He got back to training and even scored a win over Roger Huerta, but in February he was sent back to jail over a prior incident.

Now he’s once again a free man and hoping to restart his fight career in Bellator.

“Last time I got out, I didn’t do anything wrong,” War Machine, formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver, told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I went back to jail for an old, old case. When I got out last year from jail, it had been seven months and I hadn’t done nothing wrong. I was just doing the same exact thing as I’m doing now. I was already making the effort to change after the first sentence.”

His plan to stay out of trouble is to stay out of bars and clubs.

“I don’t get in trouble anywhere else,” he said. “It’s not as fun. I can’t have the same amount of fun as I want to have. Pretty much I just sit at home all day and play on the Internet and invite girls over late at night for a powwow. That’s all I do. I train and I come home. My life is just training, food, Internet and late-night booty. That’s it.”

In particular, War Machine is focused on getting back in fight shape after spending months in a jail cell. So far it’s been easier than his first time.

“It was tough, particularly the first time when I first got out,” he said. “I was horrible. I was getting destroyed. All my students were just beating the crap out of me. I had no strength. Everything sucked. But this time coming out, surprisingly it was a lot easier than last time. I don’t know why. I don’t know if it was just because psychologically I already did it once and it was easier the second time around, but this time it wasn’t as hard to get back in the swing of things. But it’s still tough. Besides training, it was a lot of emotional anxiety. A lot of feelings hit you when you first get out.”

In fact, he said getting out is actually tougher than being in jail.

“It’s so hard when you get out,” War Machine said. “Getting out is the toughest, scariest part. That’s why these guys stay in there. It’s just easier.”

The 31-year-old is expected to debut with Bellator next year when the promotion moves to Spike TV. Of course, Bellator has received some criticism for promoting a fighter with a criminal record, but War Machine remains grateful for the opportunity.

“I get a lot of crap for my out-of-the-cage antics and stuff, but I’ve never acted like a fool in the cage,” he said. “I’ve never disrespected no one in the cage. I’ve never acted like an idiot ever. I come to fight and I’m professional. I don’t play any games. I try to win. I try to put on a good show. I’m a professional when I’m in that cage. I might get a little wild on the outside and say funny things and be a goofball, but when I’m in there, I’m all business. I think that’s what I really should be judged for when it comes to fighting because that’s my job. My job is to fight. That’s what I do. Everything else is pretty much my personal life.”

Source: Sherdog


UFC on Fox 5 Fight Bonuses Net Big Payday for Scott Jorgensen

The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday returned to Seattle for UFC on Fox 5: Henderson vs. Diaz. The fighters on the card must have been just as excited as company president Dana White because they delivered action in spades, giving the boss numerous options for post-fight bonuses.

Those fighters that did capture the post-fight honors were rewarded with $65,000 each for their efforts.

The fight of the night honors went to the first fight on the card, the Facebook streamed bout between Scott Jorgensen and John Albert.

The fight looked as though it was going Albert’s way when he locked on a triangle choke. Jorgensen escaped, got caught again, but escaped again, and then turned the tables with a modified grip rear naked choke in the waning moments of the first round.

Jorgensen squeezed with all his might, Albert finally submitting just milliseconds before the horn sounded.

The back-and-forth battle netted the two Fight of the Night honors, but the finish also earned Jorgensen the Submission of the Night, as well.

The Knockout of the Night went to a veteran that is no stranger to knocking his opposition out and has been competing for a decade and a half.

Everyone was watching for Jeremy Stephens’ knockout power, but it was 36-year-old Yves Edwards that was patient, waiting to counter, and eventually landed a right hook to the jaw that floored Stephens. Edwards dropped down and finished him off with a couple of well placed elbows to the face, scoring the Knockout of the Night and a $65,000 bonus check.

The official UFC on Fox 5 post-fight bonuses were issued to the tune of $260,000 total on Saturday night in Seattle.

Source: MMA Weekly

Nate Diaz suffered eye injury early in UFC on FOX 5 title fight

SEATTLE -- Nate Diaz tugged his black-rimmed hat low over his mangled right eye as he settled into his chair at the UFC on FOX 5 post-fight press conference.

Less than an hour before, Diaz was left to blearily gaze up at the arena video screens as the final few seconds of the clock wound down on a lethargic loss to UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson, all on national television. Diaz entered the bout riding a string of three commanding victories, however the fighter that dismantled Donald Cerrone and choked out Jim Miller was nowhere to be found in Seattle, and the one who took his place struggled mightily to find any sense of rhythm against Henderson's relentless pace.

"I didn't perform the way I wish I could have," Diaz admitted afterward. "I got a punch in the eye pretty early in the fight and things were blurry. They never came back. I was waiting for it to recover, and when it did I was going to come back strong. But it never did. Ben did great. He landed the good shot early.

"If I would have tried to get up with anything, or tried to aggress too hard, I think things could've gotten worse. Like I said, I was trying to wait for the eye to recover, until I could see straight. Because I knew it was coming back and I knew I was going to come back strong from it, but I never did. I ran out of time with it, and it sucks. But whatever, that's what happens. Good job, man."

The lone bright spot for Diaz over the course of 25 lopsided minutes was a string of leglock attempts midway through the third round, which briefly put Henderson on the defensive.

"I probably should've went a little harder for some of the kneebar and heel hook (attempts) for the finish," reflected Diaz. "I've seen him in fights get out of stuff, so at the same time I was kind of indecisive about going all out, going hard and, you know, I didn't want to work too hard for something I wasn't going to get."

Cageside doctors ultimately became concerned about Diaz's bloated right eye after the end of the fourth round, though the fight was never in danger of being stopped.

Regardless, after sitting out most of 2012 waiting for a title shot, Diaz now hopes to jump back into the fray as quickly as his body allows.

"As soon as this eye heals up, I'm ready to go."

Source: MMA Fighting

TUF 11?s Josh Bryant Going for Gold at King of the Cage: Unfication

Josh Byrant TUF 11Since his release from the UFC in mid-2010, former Ultimate Fighter 11 middleweight Josh “Beast” Bryant has managed to win four fights in a row, because as he puts it, he doesn’t want what happened to him in his last fight with the promotion to become a pattern.

“I feel like I didn’t fight the kind of fight that I do and kind of went out there and did what Kyle Noke wanted to do and fought his fight,” said Bryant. “I’ve since made it a conscience effort to not let that happen again and so far it’s been working for me.

“No matter what anybody says, getting a contract in the UFC and then get it ripped out definitely puts a little chip on your shoulder. You’ve got something to prove to yourself and the people around you. Every time you’re out there you look at it as being the next step toward getting back to the big show.”

While he’s been successful over the last couple of years, it wasn’t always easy, as an injury sidelined Bryant for nearly a year during his winning streak.

“Having come off an injury, you’re always worried about your next fight and how your game plan is going to work and stuff like that, so I was pretty happy with both my fights this year,” he said. “I was able to get healthy and impose my will on my last two opponents.

“It is always nice to come off an injury and feel just as good as before it happened.”

Bryant’s success has earned him a middleweight title shot at Saturday’s King of the Cage: Unification show in Tulsa, Okla., where he’s scheduled to take on reigning champion Sean Strickland.

“I think (Strickland) is a strong guy and aggressive when pushed, so I think I’m going to be able to dictate the pace of the fight, which I like to do,” said Bryant. “I also feel like he doesn’t really set much up, he just reacts to what’s going on in the fight, so I think my experience will help me get a win over him.

“I’m looking to beat up on him a little bit standing up, force a scramble situation and possibly dominate him with my wrestling and my jiu-jitsu and get a win on the ground.”

A win over Strickland would put the cap on a year that’s been one of his best, but more importantly it will allow him to transition into 2013 with a winning streak that could help propel him back up to the next level.

“I take each fight as it comes, but I’m always putting my name out there and in the hat, and I think there’s some big doors open for me next year,” said Bryant. “I’ve been in contact with several promotions and I think there will be lots of opportunities.

“For now, I’m focused on this fight, focused on getting this win, because every loss hurts your chances and hurts your pocket. It’s not every day you get an opportunity like this, so when you get them you’ve got to capitalize on it, and that’s my game plan, to capitalize on it and use it.”

Source: MMA Weekly

Chad Mendes Now Faces Yaotzin Meza at UFC on FX 6 with Hacran Dias Out

Chad MendesA late change has been made to the UFC on FX 6 card with Chad Mendes getting a new opponent just a week away from fight time.

Brazilian Hacran Dias has been forced out of the bout due to an undisclosed injury, so in his place steps UFC newcomer Yaotzin Meza to face Mendes next Friday in Australia.

Yaotzin Meza comes to the UFC with an 18-7 record overall, and serves as a training partner to UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, as well as fellow UFC fighter Jamie Varner at the MMA Lab in Arizona.

It will be no easy test for Meza who faces one of the top featherweights in the world when he faces Chad Mendes next weekend in Australia.

UFC officials have yet to announce the switch, but it’s likely the Mendes vs. Meza fight will still occupy a slot on the televised card airing on FX.

Source: MMA Weekly

Junior Cigano Promoted to Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu

UFC champion Junior Cigano was promoted to black belt by his instructor Yuri Carlton this Saturday.

Junior Cigano added another distinction to his accomplished career in the martial arts. The current holder of the UFC heavyweight belt was promoted to the rank of black belt in Jiu-Jitsu this Saturday. Yuri Carlton, his first gentle-art instructor, was the one who delivered the honor.

The happy UFC champion had the following to say over Twitter:

“Thanks goes out to the man who discovered me and my who is my master, Yuri Carlton, for always being by my side on this journey. I feel honored to receive the black belt today,” said Cigano in thanks.

Just one of the Brazilian now-black belt’s 15 wins come by way of submission. He overcame Frank Mir in his last appearance in the octagon, at UFC 146, and will now defend his title and honor his black belt at UFC 155 on December 29, when he takes on Cain Velasquez, from whom he first captured the belt at the inaugural UFC on Fox event.

Source: Gracie Magazine

Matches to Make After UFC on Fox 5

Benson Henderson turned what many viewed as a potential “Fight of the Year” contender into a rout.

Henderson carved through “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 winner Nate Diaz, retained his Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight crown and tightened his hold on the 155-pound division with a unanimous decision in the UFC on Fox 5 main event on Saturday at the Key Arena in Seattle. The judges’ scores said it all: 50-43, 50-45 and 50-45.

“Smooth” was utterly exceptional. The 29-year-old MMA Lab standout struck for eight takedowns in the 25-minute clash and, according to figures, out-landed Diaz by a staggering 124-30 count in terms of significant strikes. Henderson, who trains under Royce Gracie protégé John Crouch in Arizona, thwarted his challenger’s only two official submission attempts in the third round.

Nothing Diaz tried worked, standing or on the ground, and as his frustration grew, so did the champion’s confidence. He scored with only three significant strikes between rounds three and four. Henderson, by comparison, delivered 45 of them. He neutralized Diaz’s exceptional boxing skills by attacking his legs with ruthless kicks, smothering him with clinches and grounding him over and over again.

With 15 wins in his last 16 appearances, including six straight victories inside the hallowed Octagon, Henderson has cemented his place atop the lightweight division. However, his dominant performance against Diaz does not leave the UFC short on options.

While it could elect to pair Henderson with the last man to defeat him, provided Anthony Pettis gets through Donald Cerrone at UFC on Fox 6 in January, another potential foil comes with every bit as much intrigue attached: Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. A longtime Diaz stablemate and perennial Top 5 fighter at 155 pounds, the 30-year-old Melendez will arrive in the UFC next month with a seven-fight winning streak in tow.

In the wake of UFC on Fox 5 “Henderson vs. Diaz,” here are six other matchups that need to be made:

Gustafsson will likely get a title shot.
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jon Jones-Chael Sonnen winner: Gustafsson completed his evolution from prospect to title contender with a unanimous verdict over former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the co-headliner. The 25-year-old Swede has pieced together an impressive streak of six consecutive victories, all while showing the kind of development one seeks in a mixed martial artist entering his prime. After a coaching stint on Season 16 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Jones will defend his light heavyweight title on April 27. Gustafsson is next in line.

Nate Diaz vs. Anthony Pettis or Joe Lauzon: Even with his lopsided loss to Henderson, Diaz remains a major player in the lightweight division. The 27-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt simply found himself overrun by a superior athlete in Seattle -- a fate he could share with many by the time “Smooth” calls it a career. Because of his exciting style, polarizing personality and undeniable toughness, the UFC could match Diaz with virtually anyone at 155 pounds without stirring much debate. After Lauzon collides with Jim Miller at UFC 155 on Dec. 29 and Pettis locks horns with Cerrone on Jan. 26, Diaz could have a new foe to scout.

Mauricio Rua vs. Dan Henderson-Lyoto Machida loser: Age, injuries and the wear-and-tear of a decade-long career in MMA may finally be catching up to the once-extraordinary Rua. The 31-year-old Brazilian has absorbed copious amounts of punishment in his last three outings against Gustafsson, Brandon Vera and Henderson, and that stretch does not include the three overtly violent rounds he spent in the cage with Jones in March 2011. Whatever gas “Shogun” has left in the tank may be best spent on tying up loose ends. Henderson and Machida will toe the line against one another at UFC 157 in February, and both men have unfinished business with the 2005 Pride Fighting Championships middleweight grand prix winner.

Rory MacDonald vs. Dong Hyun Kim: MacDonald was spectacular in dissecting former two-division champion B.J. Penn, but a reasonable cap ought to be kept on the superlatives. In reality, he defeated a man who no longer has any business competing at 170 pounds. MacDonald certainly has the look of a future champion, but with Tristar Gym teammate Georges St. Pierre firmly entrenched atop the division, the UFC has time to let the 23-year-old Canadian marinate. A brutish Korean judoka with plenty of game and experience, Kim has momentum to burn after running roughshod over Paulo Thiago in November.

Matt Brown vs. Jay Hieron-Erick Silva winner: Brown made the most of his opportunity under the bright lights of network television, as he leveled American Kickboxing Academy mainstay Mike Swick with a series of second-round strikes. “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 alum has quietly rattled off four wins in a row, three of them finishes, and his propensity for violence makes him an easy sell. Hieron, the battle-tested veteran, will meet Silva, the can’t-miss prospect, at UFC 156 on Feb. 2.

Dennis Siver vs. Cub Swanson: No one did more to raise his stock at UFC on Fox 5 than Siver, who looks like a million bucks at 145 pounds. The 33-year-old Russian-born German was brilliant in his three-round decision over Nam Phan, so much so that he earned a 30-24 nod from one of the judges. Swanson has been equally impressive of late, as the Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts export has knocked out George Roop, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 winner Ross Pearson and highly regarded Brazilian prospect Charles Oliveira in succession.

Source: Sherdog

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