want to list an event on Onzuka.com?
(All events on Oahu, unless noted)
Mayhem At The Mansion
Kauai Cage Match 14
(Kilohana Carriage House, Lihue, Kauai)
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)
State BJJ Championship
& Sub Grappling)
(McKimley H.S. Gym)
Eternal Submission Tournament
Toughman Xtreme Fighting Championships
(Boxing, Kickboxing, XMA, MMA)
(Hilo Civic Center, Hilo)
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Radford H. S. Gym)
King of the Cage: Mana
Master Senior Championship
(The Pyramid, Long Beach, CA)
Destiny: Na Koa
(Hilo Civic Ctr)
Warpath to Mayhem:
Rumble at the Resort
(Kauai Beach Resort, Lihue, Kauai)
King of the Mat
(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
(Waipahu Filcom Center)
of Hawaii BJJ Championship
& 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)
(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)
(Waipahu Filcom Center)
King of the Ring
Just Scrap XVI
(Maui War Memorial Gym, Wailuku)
(Kickboxing & MMA)
(The Waterfront, Aloha Tower)
Amateur Boxing Event
(Palolo District Park Gym)
Man Up & Stand Up
(Waipahu Filcom, Waipahu)
Open Championship of BJJ
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Kaiser H.S. Gym)
3/29/12 - 4/1/12
Warpath to Mayhem:
Rumble at the Resort
(Kauai Beach Resort, Lihue, Kauai)
(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)
International BJJ Tournament
(King Intermediate, Kaneohe)
(Hilo Civic Center, Hilo)
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
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Kickboxing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with PJ Dean &
We just started a
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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.
Just a beginner with no background? Perfect! We teach you from
the ground up!
Experienced martial artist that wants to fine tune your skill?
Our school is for you!
Mix and match your classes so you can try all the martial arts
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If you want to learn martial arts by masters of their trade in
a friendly and family environment, O2 Martial Arts Academy is
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UFC on FX 6 Demolition, Hector Lombard Anxious to Get His Hands
on Michael Bisping
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.
before Lombards debut in the UFC, middleweight contender
Michael Bisping has been working to get under the former Judo
gold medalists skin, and its worked like a charm.
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? Im like cmon, seriously? Seriously?
This is the guy with all the hype? I think hes in the wrong
weight class; theres a 125 weight class he should be in
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 hes anxious to get in there with the Brit.
going as far as saying how hed be ready next month should
Belfort happen to get injured.
will jump in right away. I would jump in, in January, said
Lombard at the UFC on FX 6 post-fight press conference. Lets
see what the UFC and their owners are planning. Its up
to the UFC, but I would really like to make that fight happen.
Lombards 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 its only going to
continue to be a heated one from here on out.
16 Finale Results: Dustin Poirier Finishes Brookins With Darce
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.
fighters were straight into action with Poirier catching Brookins,
who responded with a big right hand that shook Poirier.
a big flurry of shots by both fighters against the cage, Poirier
engaged in a grappling contest, but Brookins unloaded with more
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 Darce choke at 1:15 of round 1.
redemption, but something even cooler than that is I tried out
for the TUF season that Brookins won, so this was my finale
only have 15 minutes to get it done, its been seven months
since I fought The Korean Zombie and I wanted to
make a statement here.
Guillard vs. Jamie Varner Moved to UFC 155; Guillard Brands Varner
Guillard was none too happy to hear the news that his opponent
Jamie Varner was out of their fight due to illness on Saturday
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
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.
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 Varners apparent illness, Guillard wasnt
think what he done tonight was very cowardly. I saw the look
in his eyes at weigh-ins, he didnt want to fight me. Ill
just leave it at that, Im 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.
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.
had no plans of facing Varner after tonights situation,
but obviously when the UFC wants something to happen, they can
usually get it done.
his part however, Guillard says the UFC might want to get some
back-ups ready because hes not sure Varner will be there.
just hope he dont 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
(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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
next two are Guida vs. Hatsu Hioki, and Erik Koch vs. Ricardo
Lamas on Jan. 26 in Chicago.
final one has Dennis Siver vs. Cub Swanson on Feb. 16 in London,
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pearson Topples Australian George Sotiropoulos Down Under in
UFC on FX 6 Headliner
Sotiropoulos played with fire, and Ross Pearson made sure he
(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.
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.
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.
was just patient. I knew shots that I wanted would land,
Pearson said. Its like Ive said all along:
I just needed to touch him. I set it up and listened to my coaches.
I wasnt too aggressive, like I usually am. I just took
my time and made him miss and saw the openings.
Blitzes, Levels Palhares
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.
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
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.
Earns Welterweight Ultimate Fighter Tag
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.
[UFC] contract is a bonus, Whittaker said, but the
real joy was just defending my country and making everyone proud.
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 Whittakers
back, hooks in. A choke never materialized, and Whittaker eventually
returned to his feet.
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 Scotts
knew the second round could have gone either way, and I wasnt
going to [let it go] to a fourth, Whittaker said. I
just wanted to seal that final round and let them know who won
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
judo black belt, Parke negated his foes 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.
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 Parkes
advances failed, he methodically tightened his grip on victory.
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.
react to TUF 16 Finale, Nelson vs. Mitrione, Barry vs. del Rosario
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.
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.
great fight strategy always pays off.Congratulations!
Royce Gracie (@realroyce) December 16, 2012
that's more like it ;) that's the way big country ?
Brad Pickett (@One_Punch) December 16, 2012
may not like the way he looks but Fat Boy can fight. #UFConFX
Jason High (@KCBanditMMA) December 16, 2012
<3 big country
Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) December 16, 2012
should be banned as illegal substance in the UFC! How do the
UFC fans feel about this?
Siyar The Great (@SiyarTheGreat) December 16, 2012
night for Roy. Earlier he was announced as McDonalds international
worker of the year!
Siyar The Great (@SiyarTheGreat) December 16, 2012
I am SO growing a beard now @ufc !!!!
Julie Kedzie (@julesk_fighter) December 16, 2012
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
is trained by @jeffmayweather1!!!
King Mo (@KingMoFH) December 16, 2012
when Roy Nelson took off his shirt dandruff went flying. That
was pretty nasty. instagr.am/p/TSJzeLs4jp/
Urijah Faber (@UrijahFaber) December 16, 2012
Nelson could be like Santa Claus.. in like... 30n years."
Joe Lauzon (@JoeLauzon) December 16, 2012
WRESTLES HIS WAY TO 'TUF 16' CROWN
@coltonsmithmma winner of TUF season 16! I know @mikeyricci will
come back stronger. Both men are warriors & should be proud!
Nate Marquardt (@NathanMarquardt) December 16, 2012
little gray shorts, how do I love thee?
Julie Kedzie (@julesk_fighter) December 16, 2012
just witnessed this fighting couple hug each other for 15min.
It was so beautiful!
Siyar The Great (@SiyarTheGreat) December 16, 2012
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
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
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
again, wrestling is the most effective yet the most boring.
Duane Ludwig (@DUANEBANGCOM) December 16, 2012
reminds me of... that guy from Maroon 5..." #GFWatchingMMA
Joe Lauzon (@JoeLauzon) December 16, 2012
awesome to see Kim Winslow's son become the Ultimate Fighter
this season. @ufc @ufconfox
Ulysses Gomez (@uselessgomez) December 16, 2012
you everyone for the support. @mikeyricci great job and you'll
be back at 155lbs soon enough!
Firas Zahabi (@Firas_Zahabi) December 16, 2012
ROCKETS BACK INTO WIN COLUMN
doesn't root for Pat Barry right? What a great guy!
Bas Rutten (@BasRuttenMMA) December 16, 2012
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
words Patt Berry (@hypeordie)
Carlos Condit (@CarlosCondit) December 16, 2012
ko by @hypeordie #ufc
Sean Pierson (@seanpierson) December 16, 2012
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
said @hypeordie And great fight.
Stipe Miocic (@smiocic) December 16, 2012
great job you earned it!
Leonard Garcia (@badboygarcia) December 16, 2012
posted a photo instagr.am/p/TSORVbvZwq/
Pat Barry (@HypeOrDie) December 16, 2012
Nelson Done with Shane Carwin After He Pulled Out of Two Previous
Nelson didnt get to fight his fellow Ultimate Fighter 16
coach on Saturday, but he came away with a victory nonetheless.
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.
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.
says at this point its two strikes and youre out,
and hes not interested in being matched up with Carwin
for a third time.
focusing on somebody else besides Shane (Carwin). Ive already
been down that road twice, and Im already over (it). We
already know whose the best coach cause my guy won, said
Nelson when speaking to Fuel TV.
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 Carwins
Mike Ricci, and sure enough he did with a unanimous decision
victory just moments before his former coach knocked out Matt
knew Colton was going to win and the other person, if Jon (Manley)
would have been Colton, Jon would have won, so Team Nelson,
isnt 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.
16 Finale Aftermath: Roy Nelson's done with Shane Carwin
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.
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."
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.
at the post-fight press conference if he felt that he missed
out by not getting the payoff of fighting Carwin at the end,
I think it's more that Shane missed out. ... I'm fully past it,
like I said before."
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.
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.
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.
the first time I've thrown combos - that's why I can't wait to
fight Junior Dos Santos or Cain [Velasquez]."
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.
16 Finale Quotes
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.
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.
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.
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.
you have kids, go hug them like it's your last day." --
Pat Barry, referencing Friday's tragedy in Connecticut.
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.
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.
Up: Mike Pyle
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.
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
here, I'm trying to do the best I can, and at 37 I'm doing better
and better," Pyle said.
Down: Shane Del Rosario
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
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.
I Want to See Next: Roy Nelson vs. Pat Barry
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
16 Finale Results: Colton Smith Dominates Mike Ricci to Become
The Ultimate Fighter
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.
judges awarded the fight unanimously to Smith (30-27, 30-27,
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.
took Riccis 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.
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.
once again took him back to the mat where Smith controlled to
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.
scrambled, taking Smiths back inside the final minute and
locked in an armbar, but Smith escaped, holding on for a decision
sweet. I wanted to finish the fight, but Ricci is tough as nails
and I couldnt finish him, commented Smith after the
fight, before adding, What the troops do overseas is hard,
this is easy.
Hendricks vs. Jake Ellenberger at UFC 158; St-Pierre vs. Diaz
and Condit vs. MacDonald Set
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
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.
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.
everyones 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 everyones
surprise, and to a shocked Hendricks, St-Pierre instead called
for and received a vendetta fight with currently suspended welterweight
been a lot of talk about who I should fight next but this was
really the only choice for me, said St-Pierre. Hes
made it personal and I personally cant wait.
was crushed, angered, dismayed.
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.
added to the UFC 158 fight card on Saturday was a middleweight
match-up between Patrick Cote and Alessio Sakara.
Faber-Menjivar Made Official for UFC 157
fight between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida was made official
as the co-main event for UFC 157 on Feb. 23, the company announced
match will be the lead-in for the promotions first ever
female headliner, when Ronda Rousey defends her womens
UFC title against Liz Carmouce at Southern Californias
company also made a bantamweight bout between Urijah Faber and
Ivan Menjivar official for the card.
(29-8) hasnt 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. Hendersons
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.
(18-3) was last seen knocking out Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 4
in August. The Dragon recently told GRACIEMAG.com
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
for the event will go on sale Friday, Dec. 21 at 10 a.m.
Hendricks' take on Jake Ellenberger fight: Just win, so GSP will
have nowhere to hide
Hendricks may not like the way things turned out for him recently,
but he's moving on. At least for now.
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."
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.
just have to win and GSP has nowhere to hide from me.
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
said he believes GSP would be forced to retire after fighting
him or would choose to retire before fighting him.
White Says Fighters Absolutely Turned Down Fight With Ronda Rousey
Thats a Fact
MMA can be a serious game of he said, she said.
time around thats literally the truth when it comes to
the opponents who did or didnt turn down the opportunity
to face UFC womens bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey at UFC
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.
names in particular were mentioned former Strikeforce
womens champion Miesha Tate and former Olympic silver medalist
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.
Whites not buying it however, and says theres nothing
wrong with turning down a fight against Rousey, he gets it, but
dont lie about it and say you werent offered the
Rousey is a bad ass, shes the champ, her opponent stepped
up to the plate and wanted this fight with her when others didnt,
I dont give a (expletive) what they say. Thats a
fact, White said on Saturday night following the TUF 16
specifically about McManns claim that she was never offered
the fight, White says he respects her decision to turn down the
bout against Rousey, but hes not backing down on the fact
that she was offered the fight and she said thanks, but
definitely one of the girls thats going to be in it, but
she said she didnt say it, but she said it. She wants a
fight or two before she fights Ronda Rousey, nothing to be embarrassed
about, Ronda Rouseys nasty. You want a couple fights before
you fight her? Thats no big deal, White said about
dont walk around talking (expletive) that you didnt
say it, when you did say it.
Rousey vs. Carmouche is the only womens 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
158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz Bad Blood Runs Deep
158 St Pierre vs Diaz PosterIts a fight thats 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.
may be the most personal fight St-Pierres 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.
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.
won by TKO, and now MacDonald get his chance at revenge.
on the card, top welterweight contender Johny Hendricks will
look to cement his spot atop the divisions contender race
when he takes on fellow wrestler, the heavy-handed Jake Ellenberger.
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.
158: ST-PIERRE VS. DIAZ
EVENT: Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz
Condit vs. Rory MacDonald
Jake Ellenberger vs. Johny Hendricks
Patrick Cote vs. Alessio Sakara
Bisping Probably Gets Next Shot at Anderson Silva
with a Win at UFC on FX 7
Bisping - UFC on Fox 2Michael Bisping may have received the news
hes long waited to hear, but he still has to get another
win before he can celebrate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
things first, Bisping faces Vitor Belfort in Brazil at UFC on
FX 7, and then if hes victorious then he can start celebrating
his potential title shot.
Lepri Promoted to 2nd Degree by Master Jacare
Alliance Headquarters has been home of many champions, past and
present. Many of Alliances greatest team members have trained,
taught and been promoted on the mats in Atlanta, Georgia under
Master Romero Jacare Cavalcanti.
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.
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.
response to his promotion he says, I am glad to receive
my 2nd stripe of the black belt. Its 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!
Jacares 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
to Lucas Lepri and the Alliance Atlanta team.
of Benson Henderson's style are off base; UFC lightweight champ
Henderson: Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing. There
is a perception of Benson Henderson bubbling up that is just
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
shouldn't apologize for anything, because he's everything the
UFC wants its athletes to be.
president Dana White encourages an all-out explosive style. Henderson
does that, but within the parameters of a game plan.
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. ...
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
knows it will be a dogfight against Diaz, who has been on a roll
since his return to the lightweight division.
is just the kind of fight in which he shines.
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.
White: Michael Bisping 'probably' gets shot at Anderson Silva
with a win
VEGAS -- Michael Bisping's long-awaited UFC middleweight title
shot just might be in reach.
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
Bisping wins, Bisping will probably will get that next shot.
If not, we'll see what happens."
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.
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.
Nelson Caps Off TUF 16 Finale with First Round Knockout of Matt
during and after every fight Roy Nelson has inside the UFC Octagon,
the commentators always love to talk about his pedigree in Brazilian
certainly has one, training under the legendary Renzo Gracie,
but deep down the former Ultimate Fighter winner not only has
a concrete jaw, hes got bricks in his hands.
showed that once again with his first round knockout of Matt
Mitrione at the Ultimate Fighter 16 finale show.
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 Nelsons head and body.
wasnt 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.
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 didnt take him long to find it.
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.
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.
the victory, Nelson disclosed that he actually didnt 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.
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
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 didnt happen, but Nelson is surely glad with the result.
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.
safe to say Nelsons time on the Ultimate Fighter was anything
but a joy ride, and the last 12 weeks of time watching the reality
show unfold didnt 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.
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.
at 36-years of age, Nelson says hes just getting started
like some pretty famous fighters before him.
feel like Im Randy (Couture) and Chuck (Liddell),
said Nelson. Im just starting.
Cormier Joins Fuel TV Broadcast Team for UFC 155 Pre and Post
Cormier StrikeforceTheres a new player in the commentary
game for UFC broadcasts and his name is Daniel Cormier.
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.
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 Fuels coverage of UFC 155.
UFC, Im starting my TV stuff for them. Ill 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.
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.
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.
155 will serve as special interest to Cormier beyond his broadcast
duties, because hes also there to coach and help his teammate
Cain Velasquez in his effort to become UFC heavyweight champion.
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.
cornering Cain (Velasquez) for his fight, as I always do,
said Cormier. Im doing stuff for Fuel, the post fight
show, and the weigh-ins.
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.
16 Finale Attendance and Gate
Ultimate Fighter returned to Las Vegas on Saturday night, although
it found a new home in the process.
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
move to The Joint accounted for a draw of 2,500 fans, according
to UFC officials, and a live gate of $318,525.
attendance is slightly higher than the past few events at The
Palms, which typically drew between 1,600 and 2,100 fans.
gates at The Palms, however, were typically higher than the joint,
usually ringing the till at about $100,000 to $150,000 more.
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 seasons Ultimate
on FX 6?s Mike Pierce Traveled the World, Stays Humble
can put UFC on FX 6?s Mike Pierce any place on the planet to
fight, and it wont change his approach.
welterweight will fly all the way to the other side of the world
in Australia to fight Seth Baczynski, but it doesnt matter
how far he has to travel, he said. Fighting is fighting, no matter
where it happens.
doesnt 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
the lengthy travel, Pierce is going into the fight with the same
idea that hes 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.
of them have to acclimate, Pierce explained.
flying from Arizona, Im flying from Oregon, so the time
change and acclimating to all that is relatively the same,
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.
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.
was a lot of fun, Pierce said about his visits with American
soldiers. I got to meet a lot of cool people.
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
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.
the language barrier, Pierce took the experience as one where
he learned a great deal of things and got better as a wrestler.
Its translated well into MMA, he said, and helped humble
him for the hard roads in the UFC.
you get to that point where you think you know everything, someones
going to catch you and humble you really quickly, he said.
I still try to [remember] that philosophy
Pat Barry flips switch, delivers Knockout of the Night against
Shane del Rosario
VEGAS UFC heavyweight Pat Barry struggles to describe
his relationship with soon-to-be pro fighter and, he promises,
big-time star, Rose Namajunas.
Well, not really. Girlfriend? Well, it's more than that.
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."
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,
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.
you got kids," he said to the crowd, "go hug them like
it's your last day."
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."
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
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.
first meeting, though, was not how shall we put it?
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."
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
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.
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.' "
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
cracked her good, but he didn't get the response he expected.
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
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.' "
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."
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
last time I rushed somebody, I woke up and thought I won, but
they told me Cheick Kongo won," Barry said.
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.
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)
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."
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."
Rosario was down and wasn't getting up. It was just another night
in the life of Pat Barry.
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.
helps him, he said, to have another fighter in the family because
she can relate to the ups and downs in his life.
home, though, there is no question who is the boss and Barry
is quick to concede it's not him.
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."
is a bunch of laughs with Pat Barry, at least until the bell
rings. And then things are a bit different.
158 Fight Card: GSP vs. Diaz
vs. Diaz is official for UFC 158.
UFC announced Georges St-Pierre will defend his UFC welterweight
title against Nick Diaz at UFC 158 on March 16 at the Bell Centre
GSP title defense is just one of several welterweight matches
that were announced Saturday night.
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.
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.
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.
on Fox 5 Fighter Salaries; Shogun and BJ Penn Top Payroll in
UFC on Fox 5 fighter salaries were released to MMAWeekly.com
on Wednesday by the Washington Department of Licensing.
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.
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.
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
Henderson: $78,000 (includes $39,000 win bonus)
def. Nate Diaz: $50,000
Gustafsson: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Mauricio Rua: $175,000
MacDonald: $42,000 (includes $21,000 win bonus)
def. BJ Penn: $150,000
Brown: $54,000 (includes $27,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Swick: $48,000
Edwards: $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
def. Jeremy Stephens: $24,000
Assuncao: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Easton: $14,000
Nijem: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Joe Proctor: $8,000
Cruickshank: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
Henry Martinez: $8,000
Trujillo: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. Marcus LeVesseur: $8,000
Siver: $62,000 (includes $31,000 win bonus)
def. Nam Phan: $10,000
Jorgensen: $41,000 (includes $20,500 win bonus)
def. John Albert: $10,000
UFC on Fox 5 Disclosed Fighter Payroll: $960,000
Zahabi: Rory MacDonald Was Not Showboating Against B.J. Penn
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.
cant believe people perceived it that way, Zahabi
told the Sherdog Radio Networks Beatdown show
on Wednesday. It makes no sense to me because the shuffle
is a technique. Its a way to draw your opponents
attention. Rory did the technique three or four times, and he
followed it up with a superman punch. Its 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.
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.
was a big concern that [MacDonald] would be a deer stuck in the
headlights because youre fighting a guy whos 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 hes
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
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
really think you have to take away the boxing from B.J.,
Zahabi said. If you dont take away his boxing, youre
dead. Youre 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
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.
sure [Condit is] going to bring new things to the table, but
the time is a little short for that, Zahabi said. I
think hes going to have to do what hes good at doing
now. The backbone of his game is going to have to be the same,
I think, and I think Rorys going to be extremely ready
White: Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz slated for March, but
'deal isn't done' yet
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz is all but set for the UFC's return to
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
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
manager Rodolphe Beaulieu was not immediately available for a
comment when reached by MMAFighting.com.
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.
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.
has been off for a year. (Silva is) a tough fight for him to
come back to. He asked personally for the (Diaz) fight."
(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
(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,
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.
Class Fitness: You Really Wanna Get Better? Stop Focusing on
one is gonna rub a few people the wrong way
give me a few minutes to hear me out, and maybe itll change
your outlook on a few things and exactly what type of strength
and conditioning you should be doing at the gym.
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 theyre trying
to get stronger or faster or build more muscle or drop more body
fat or develop better cardio or whatever.
is that theyre better today than they were a week ago,
but not as good as theyll be a week from now.
sense, right? Sure it does.
all, theres no point in going to the gym and working your
ass off if youre never getting better.
before we can get better, we have to first figure out how were
going to determine and/or measure it. In other words, we have
to define what exactly constitutes better.
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, hes different
than he was when he got started, but not necessarily better.
if a guy knows hes slow and has to work on his speed and
explosiveness, and while hes able to put 20 pounds on his
max squat, if he cant jump any higher, he didnt progress
in the right area.
sort of thing.
not only do you have to define exactly what characteristics you
want to enhance, you have to figure out how youre going
to measure them. And therein lies the problem for so many people.
Theyre usually worried about improving their max.
that, I mean theyre 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.
theres nothing wrong with any of these benchmarks
as long as theyre being looked at the right way.
problem with using your max as your sole method of
measuring progress is that a max doesnt always
tell you the whole story. Just because your max improves
(in whatever fashion depends on the test), that doesnt
mean that your ability has or hasnt improved
in other words, Im saying if you add 20 pounds to your
bench press max, that doesnt necessarily mean youre
Thats exactly what I mean.
youre able to add 20 pounds to your bench press max, thats
an indication of an improvement in performance. In other words,
youre able to do better at the bench press. And this isnt
a definite indicator of strength improvement at least
not always a proportional one. Its an indicator of potential.
off, I have to mention technique. Any improvements that come
about as a result of improving your technique just dont
count. Ive 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.
not a strength improvement. Thats an improvement in expressing
the strength the trainee already had.
aside, you cant always take a max into account unless youre
talking about what I call an everyday max. This means
what can you go into the gym on any given day and make happen?
certain days, youre just going to have it.
Youll feel good. Energetic. On point. The weights will
be light and things will just flow.
know what thats like weve 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.
the flip side, youll have days where youre tired
or recovery is off. Youll feel slow, sluggish, and like
somebody put more weight on the bar when you werent looking.
You could never come close to hitting your maxes on those days.
of those are at opposite ends of the spectrum, and we dont
care about either one. What matters is what you can do day in
and day out, at any given time.
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. Id never say
youre not going to be able to go in and do this every time
you hit the gym. And really, thats all we care about.
youre 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 cant be called upon every
single day when youre drilling takedowns, hitting the mitts,
practicing subs, grappling, sparring, etc.
if youre 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 youre not any stronger (or faster or
whatever) in normal day-to-day life, then who cares?
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.
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.
should be the type of improvement youre chasing.
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 its
not the crap you see in the magazines.) To discover the truth,
hit up Wiggy at www.workingclassfitness.com or on Facebook at
exercise can sometimes lead to injury. WorkingClassFitness.com
and MMAWeekly.com 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.)
Lawal Faces Przemyslaw Mysiala at Bellator 86
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
King Mo Lawal will face Przemyslaw Mysiala at Bellator
86 in the light heavyweight tournament quarterfinal on Jan. 24,
company officials announced on Wednesday.
event will take place at the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville,
Okla., and will be broadcast on the MMA promotions new
television home, Spike TV.
(8-1) hasnt 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.
86 will be Lawals first fight with the company, and he
will split that with time dedicated to professional wrestling
in the TNA promotion.
is known about Mysiala (16-7), as hes 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.
86 is headlined by a welterweight title fight between 170-pound
champion Ben Askren and challenger Karl Amoussou.
Ellenberger, the $440K drug, his supportive twin brother and
a UFC dream
back, the timing could have been better. Or, to put it another
way, the timing couldn't have been worse.
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.
day now, he thought, the call would come for him.
felt like I was on top of the world," the 27-year-old Ellenberger
told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
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?
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.
had never heard of it," Ellenberger said. "Just like
everybody I've told about it since then."
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.
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
was 24 when he got the news. Two weeks later, UFC matchmaker
Joe Silva called to offer him a fight against Mark Bocek that
was pretty depressing," Ellenberger said.
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.
an identity, just in time to lose it
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.
were a lot of broken screens and doors and messed up drywall,"
he said. "It was fun, though. It was a great childhood for
the boys were in the fourth grade, Joe said, their father first
tried to get them interested in wrestling.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
was hard enough for Jake to fathom losing his top training partner.
Losing his twin brother altogether seemed unthinkable.
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."
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.
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?"
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?
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."
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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?
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.
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.
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."
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
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
Wilk can't see when he looks at Ellenberger, however, is everything
he's been through since the last time they fought.
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."
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.
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.
time slot and no main event leads Bellator to low ratings
about everything major that could go wrong did on Friday night,
leaving Bellator with its second-lowest rated live episode since
going on MTV2.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
MacDonald-Carlos Condit Rematch Slated for UFC 158 in Montreal
MacDonald and Carlos Condit will likely square off once again
at UFC 158.
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.
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 TVs UFC
Tonight reported that The Natural Born Killer
had accepted the Canadians challenge, though no specifics
were released regarding where or when the bout might go down.
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.
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 Jacksons 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.
Kawajiri vs. Michihiro Omigawa On Deck for DREAM 18 in Japan
featured featherweight bout between Tatsuya Kawajiri and Michihiro
Omigawa has been added to the upcoming DREAM 18 card in Japan
on New Years Eve.
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.
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
spent several years fighting there between DREAM and Sengoku,
and now hopes to get his career back on track by defeating Kawajiri
on New Years Eve.
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
Hominick Retires from Mixed Martial Arts
more than 30 fights in his pro career including seven inside
the UFC, featherweight contender Mark Hominick has announced
his retirement from fighting.
Canadian made the announcement via UFC Tonight on Tuesday.
the last 11 years, Ive followed my passion in the UFC.
Now, Ill say UFC 154 was my last fight in the Octagon as
Im retiring and moving on to next phase of my career. I
have a young daughter at home and another on the way. Ill
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.
his career, Hominick was always known as one of the most exciting
fighters in the sport with knockout power and a surprising submission
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.
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.
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.
on FX 6 Prelims: 5 Reasons to Watch
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.
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 is a bad man, plain and simple.
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.
you do not know Pierces 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
but rarely outgunned, Pierces 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.
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
Bullseye or backfire
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.
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 bouts opening
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.
Baczynski keep his foe on the end of his jab and use his size
to guide him to victory, or will he wilt under Pierces
relentless pressure, as so many others have?
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.
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.
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
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
riles up a crowd like a good old fashioned donnybrook, and I
suspect that is exactly what Igor Pokrajac and Joey Beltran aim
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.
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
do not need to spell it out. If you are a fan worth your salt,
you remember Pokrajacs brawl with Fabio Maldonado, and
you are undoubtedly already well-acquainted with Beltrans
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
Report: Vitor Belfort confident Anderson Silva would 'win on
the feet' against Jon Jones
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
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
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.
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.
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."
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.
on Fox 5 Peaks with 5.7 Million Viewers; Best Overall Ratings
Since UFC on Fox 2
final numbers for the UFC on Fox 5 card are back, and it appears
everybody should be happy with the result.
to a report from Nielsen, the UFC on Fox 5 show averaged 4.4
million viewers over its 2+ hour broadcast with a peak
of 5.7 million viewers during the main event between Benson Henderson
and Nate Diaz.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
intimidated to do Jiu-Jitsu?
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.
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.
take the first step, its as simple as taking a first step.
in, gather your courage, and walk through the academy doors.
Youll see that a Jiu-Jitsu school isnt made up of
just big dudes and UFC fighters, but mostly by white belts, veterans,
children and women.
yourself to the headmaster, and have a talk with him. Explain
your fears and desires, and hell 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.
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.
Siver vs. Cub Swanson to serve as co-main event for UFC on FUEL
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
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
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.
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.
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
takes UFC 155's final PPV spot, Lauzon-Miller moves to co-headliner
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
latest UFC 155 card now includes:
CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
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
CARD (FX, Facebook)
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
more on UFC 155, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the
Fight League To Crown Five Champions at This Fridays SFL
SFLs 2012 promotional debut culminates with Night of Champions
and Streaming Live Friday, December 14th, 2012 on MMAWeekly.com:
Mumbai 9:00 PM | Los Angeles 7.30 AM | New York 10.30
AM | Hong Kong 11.30 PM | London 4.30 PM
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 MMAWeekly.com and YouTube.
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 SFLs 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.
card is stacked with the mens welterweight, lightweight,
featherweight and bantamweight titles all on the line, topped
off with a bout to decide to womens flyweight champion,
SFL 13 promises to be one of the most memorable MMA events seen
in Asian history.
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
Kundra, Chairman of Super Fight League said: The event
weve 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
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 Asias large MMA fan base and push its
brand across all borders while continuing to educate and develop
the sport in its base Indian market. Tune into SFL 12 this
Friday December 14th 2012, streaming live on MMAWeekly.com and
www.YouTube.com/SFL 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
World Title Fight (Main Event): Bhabajeet Chowdhury vs Shyam
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
Mohamed Hassan vs Warren De Reuck (WW)
Rouhollah Eidehlouei v Jamshed Khan (WW)
along with SFL
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 http://superfightleague.com/mmagame/
Silva Says No Thanks on New 8-Fight UFC Deal
He Wants 10-Fights
being 38-years of age, Anderson Silvas best days are still
least youd 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.
currently has two fights left on his UFC contract, but its
no secret the promotion will break the bank to ensure they keep
their reigning and defending middleweight champion happy with
a new deal.
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.
because it wasnt enough money or because he only wanted
to fight a few more times before he ended his career. No, its
because Anderson Silva wanted more fights.
tried to do an 8-fight deal with him and he said (expletive)
that, I want a 10-fight deal. So well see what happens,
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.
on FX 6 Preview
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 promotions 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.
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.
is a closer look at UFC on FX 6, with analysis and picks:
Sotiropoulos (14-4, 7-2 UFC) vs. Ross Pearson (13-6, 5-3 UFC)
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.
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.
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 Jacksons 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.
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.
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.
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 opponents 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.
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 opponents
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.
Lombard (31-3-1, 0-1 UFC) vs. Rousimar Palhares (14-4, 7-3 UFC)
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
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.
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.
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.
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 FightMetric.com.
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.
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
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.
Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes Welterweight Final
Brad Scott (8-1, 0-0 UFC) vs. Robert Whittaker (9-2, 0-0 UFC)
Matchup: The 170-pound final of the The Ultimate Fighter:
The Smashes pits Team U.K. member Scott against Team Australia
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.
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 opponents
back on the canvas.
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.
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.
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
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.
Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes Lightweight Final
Fletcher (8-1, 0-0 UFC) vs. Norman Parke (16-2, 0-0 UFC)
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
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.
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-olds crafty submission game was
on display against Vaculik, as he executed a nice transition
by jumping to his opponents 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
native of Bushmills, Antrim, Northern Ireland, Parke made his
name on the Irish freestyle wrestling circuit before beginning
a career in MMA. Parkes 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
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
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.
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 bouts 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.
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.
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.
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 shows 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 Rodriguezs run. Alloway
wins by second-round TKO.
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.
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.
Stann's return to light heavyweight only temporary
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Stann's return to light heavyweight will only be a pit stop.
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
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."
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
16 Regular Season TV Ratings End Things on the Low Side
final regular season episode of The Ultimate Fighter 16 is in
the books and the TV ratings are in.
12 of TUF 16 pulled in average of 678,000 viewers for the semifinal
bouts, setting up the final between Team Carwins Mike Ricci
and Team Nelsons Colton Smith.
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 Fridays 678,000 viewers.
ratings are sure to be better for this weekends TUF 16
Finale, as the UFCs live events always pull in much stronger
TV ratings than the reality series.
TUF 16 Finale takes place Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel
and Casino in Las Vegas.
Gracie Receives Legend Award
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 didnt think of Martial Arts as a sport, just pioneered
an MMA and Muay Thai Hall of Fame inducting the states
most important contributors to these sports.
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.
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.
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.
is the full list of inductees:
Inaugural Class Inductee Awards
Award - Renzo Gracie
Achievement Award Louis Neglia
Fighter of the Year Frankie Edgar
Female Fighter of the Year Munah Holland
Thai Fighter of the Year Ognjen Topic
Thai female fighter of the Year - Prairie Rugilo
Trainer of the Year Mike Constantino
Thai Trainer(s) of the Year Ray Cruz and Joe Bumanlag
Promoter of the Year Rob Haydak
Thai Promoter of the Year Warriors Cup
Matchmaker of the Year Sam Caplan
Thai Matchmaker of the Year Chris Tran
Thai Referee of the Year Coban
Referee of the Year Dan Miragliotta
Judge of the Year Ricardo Almeida
Thai Judge of the Year Vladimir Borodine
Physician of the Year Dr. Sherry Wulkan
of the Year Kevin Garvey
Personality of the Year Jim Genia
MMA Fighter Award Dave Tirelli
Achievement in MMA Kurt Pellegrino
Gracie, on becoming a legend:
how do you feel after winning the legend award for the first
ever N.J. MMA Hall of Fame?
I thought this was an award they gave to old people. And its
funny because Nick Lembo [N.J. State Athletic Control Board Legal
Counsel] began his speech with This started this way and
I didnt know where it was gonna end up. He said [some more
words] and now its 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.
Its 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 whos
gonna be banging again next year!
when is your fight next year?
hope soon. I am already in shape and ready to go, man. I cant
wait! I cant wait to setup a date! Soon it will be announced.
didnt 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?
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 dont
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.
James Head anticipates big 2012 finish at TUF 16 Finale
over, Shane Carwin. There's a new engineer in town.
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.
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.
drill oil and gas wells designing and then managing the
day-to-day operations of the drilling rigs," Head told MMAjunkie.com
(www.mmajunkie.com). "I have three different rigs that I'm
the engineer on.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
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."
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.
turned out first to be a curse, but a blessing would soon follow.
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
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."
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
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
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.
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."
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
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.
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."
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
on FX 6 predictions
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.
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.
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.
UFC on FX 6
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Gold Coast, Queensland,
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.
for the four main card fights airing Friday on FX are below.
Sotiropoulos vs. Ross Pearson
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.
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.
Lombard vs. Rousimar Palhares
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.
Fletcher vs. Norman Parke
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.
Scott vs. Robert Whittaker
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.
Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale Prelims: 5 Reasons to Watch
terms of degree of difficulty, Tim Elliotts Ultimate Fighting
Championship debut -- a short-notice call to arms against top
flyweight contender John Dodson in May -- could not have been
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
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.
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
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.
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:
one will ever accuse former Shark Fights welterweight champion
T.J. Waldburger of engaging in a boring fight.
of the Texans 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.
will aim for his seventh victory in nine outings when he faces
former Ring of Combat champion Nick Catone on the undercard.
than a year has passed since Johnny Bedford last set foot inside
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.
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.
UFC struck gold with Russian lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Perhaps it can do the same with Rustam Khabilov.
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 Jacksons Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque,
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.
Rio understands the demands success requires.
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 Gyms 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
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.
Jones Isnt Looking for Superfight, but Hes Not Afraid
of Anderson Silva or Any Man
subject of superfights have been coming up a lot lately, primarily
due to UFC icon Anderson Silva looking for the biggest match-ups
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.
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?
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.
says hes not looking to fight Silva, but its no secret
because as a fighter you want to face the best of the best, and
Anderson Silva certainly defines greatness in MMA.
think superfights are important for the sport, important for
legacies. A desire to compete in one, I really dont have
it because I dont desire to compete against anyone in particular,
someone comes and challenges me, Im fine going on my merry
way and competing against these light heavyweights.
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.
the potential of a superfight against Anderson Silva cant
be ignored, and while Jones wont go the route of calling
for the bout to happen, he does say anythings possible.
a possibility. I do believe that were 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.
who knows what will happen in the future.
thing is for sure though because, while Jones isnt trying
to call out Anderson Silva or tell the UFC thats the fight
that he wants, hes not going to back down from the challenge
and hes not scared to face him in the Octagon.
great as Anderson Silva is as a mixed martial artist, Jones doesnt
fear him, or anybody else for that matter.
totally not afraid of Anderson, said Jones. Not afraid
of any man.
White Believes B.J. Penn Will Probably Retire from MMA
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.
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.
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.
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 its time to call it a career.
didnt say it tonight, but I think B.J. is probably going
to retire, and I wouldnt mind seeing that. He came back
with a fire lit under him. That kid looked so good tonight, Rory
looked better than hes ever looked, the body punches that
he threw, you dont see body punches like that in mixed
martial arts. He really put it to B.J. tonight, White said
when speaking with Fuel TV.
taking a massive amount of punishment throughout the 15-minute
affair, Penn stuck through it all and never gave up despite MacDonalds
best efforts to finish the fight. Penn showed a ton of heart
and toughness, but it wasnt enough to win or stay competitive
against MacDonald on Saturday.
is a warrior, talk about a guy that doesnt give up, and
doesnt 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. Id like to see him retire, said White.
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.
with that project as well as all of the other earnings hes
had over the years, Penn isnt fighting for the money, and
hes been a two-weight class champion already, so White
believes its just his time to walk away.
got plenty of money, hes got a great family who loves him,
hes got babies, a beautiful wife. Hes our partner
in the B.J. Penn/UFC gym, he has nothing left to prove to anybody,
and everybody loves him, White stated.
like to see B.J. retire.
on Fox 5 Results: Rory MacDonald Decimates BJ Penn, Wants Revenge
on Carlos Condit
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
persevered but only to absorb more punishment from MacDonald
for the remainder of the fight.
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 didnt
change what was happening inside the Octagon.
the final horn sounded, MacDonald looked like a lion, and Penn
a freshly hunted lamb.
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.
a guy that humiliated me a couple years ago, I want my revenge.
Carlos Condit I want a rematch, accept my challenge. Lets
do it in March in my home territory again, and Im going
to get my revenge, MacDonald said after the fight.
knocked out MacDonald in 2010, viciously finishing the fight
with strikes on the ground in the Canadians backyard of
the only thing MacDonald wants is a shot at revenge against the
only man to defeat him in his young MMA career.
on Fox 5 Results: Alexander Gustafsson Grinds Out Decision; Gets
Next Title Shot
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.
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.
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.
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.
was a dominant performance by Gustafsson, who picked up a wide
decision on the scorecards (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).
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.
Henderson Reigns Supreme with Shutout Performance Over Nate Diaz
Henderson 545 WEC 46Prior to Saturday night, UFC lightweight
champion Benson Henderson said he wasnt worried about winning
pretty or winning ugly so long as he came away with the victory.
questions had been raised about Hendersons 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
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
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.
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.
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
ability to keep Diaz off balance was truly the difference in
the fight because all he could do was try to counter the champions
offense. At every turn, Henderson was in Diazs face with
powerful strikes, followed up by powerful wrestling and suffocating
control on the ground.
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 Diazs
30 according to Fight Metric.
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
win came from months of preparation, and all Henderson had to
do was unleash it in the cage on Saturday night.
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
were all about being well prepared, Henderson stated.
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.
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.
is just a small part, theres a lot more to life guys,
said Henderson. Hug on your loved ones, cherish them, these
moments that we have together theyre a lot shorter than
UFC, Jiu-Jitsu and MMA Worlds Most Impactful Statements
of the Week
can I keep one of my athletes from his dream of winning the belt?
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.
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, lets, you and I, grapple.
I brought my hand back [to punch him], and thats
the last thing I remember.
really glad Nick [Diaz] will finally get a chance to fight GSP.
This shows that the fans have more power than corrupt judges.
Gracie, after GSP asked Dana White to face Nick Diaz
of Ronda Rousey bolsters UFC, opens sport of MMA up to greater
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,
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,
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
Thursday, the UFC officially added another transcendent star,
and the reverberations from the move will have a significant
impact on the company's business.
Rousey is now the women's bantamweight champion and will headline
UFC 157 on Feb. 23 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., against
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.
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.
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.
got everything. She's incredibly talented."
many fighters ever appear on Jim Rome's show without a fight
to sell? Her notoriety will only grow with the pulpit the UFC
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.
still hasn't had to go past the first round and she's already
beaten the best the division has to offer.
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
you think that last revelation might leave some of her fans panting
as they watch the clip of the interview again (and again and
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
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."
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.
said she won't be able to make the cut to 135 pounds safely by
February, so she declined the offer.
had called Santos out after her last successful title defense
in the first round, by arm bar, of course in August
against Sarah Kaufman.
Thursday, Rousey was philosophical. She heaped praise on Carmouche
as an opponent while admitting she had wanted to fight Santos.
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.
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."
Nate Diaz emerged from rough upbringing to contend for a UFC
White loves to refer to first-time UFC fighters as having to
overcome the UFC jitters, Rousey insisted it won't be an issue.
won a bronze medal in judo in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and
said nothing could compare to that.
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."
the UFC, though, having Rousey in the fold is the ultimate. Her
signing will broaden the sport's fan base and introduce it to
is more important to a fight promotion than that.
on Fox 5 Results: Matt Brown Dominates Then Knocks Out Mike Swick
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.
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 Darce choke and was desperately trying
to hold on as Swick planned his escape.
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.
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.
win was Browns fourth in succession, while Swick has lost
three of his last four UFC fights.
the Numbers: UFC on Fox 5
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.
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.
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 FightMetric.com.
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.
Leg strikes landed by Henderson, who limited Diazs vaunted
volume boxing by consistently attacking his lead leg. Diaz, meanwhile,
landed 15 leg kicks.
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.
Significant strikes landed by Diaz -- 208 less than the promotional
record he set against Donald Cerrone in a three-round affair
at UFC 141.
Takedowns executed, in 12 attempts, by Henderson, equaling the
fighters 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.
Submissions attempted by Diaz in his UFC career, tying him with
Georges St. Pierre for No. 5 on the promotions 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 Cerrones submission attempts at WEC 43.
Takedowns landed in 12 attempts by Gustafsson, his most in eight
UFC bouts. The Swedes previous high of two culminated in
a second-round submission victory over Cyrille Diabate at UFC
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
opponents 10 takedown tries.
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.
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.
5 Stories of the Week
Ultimate Fighting Championship will waste no time in testing
the pay-per-view drawing power of one Ronda Rousey.
as the first womens champion in the promotions 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 MMAs
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
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
who turns 26 in February, can already feel the burden of expectation
as part of the first-ever womens fight inside the Octagon.
dont 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 were gonna prove it.
Rousey to Defend Bantamweight Belt Against Liz Carmouche in UFC
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 womens
bout in the history of the Las Vegas-based organization.
Thursdays UFC on Fox 5 news conference, White officially
introduced Rousey as the promotions inaugural womens
bantamweight champion. After he presented her with the belt,
White revealed that Rousey would defend her crown against Carmouche
in the UFC 157 headliner.
157 takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The organizations
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.
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 Rouseys title, contradicting
previous reports asserting that such a cut could cause health
complications for the former Strikeforce featherweight champion.
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.
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 arent kicking the doors down of Zuffa
to fight her.
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.
Santos fight] is going to happen eventually. I cant make
these girls fight me when I want them to fight me, said
Rousey. Ive got a lot of respect for Liz. Shes
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 Im at.
didnt know about this until this morning. I dont
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 were gonna prove
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.
McDonald to Challenge Renan Barao for UFC Interim Bantamweight
Belt in 2013
Barao Pegado will defend his UFC interim bantamweight
title against rising star Michael McDonald in 2013.
planned booking was revealed on Tuesdays episode of UFC
Tonight on Fuel TV, though a specific date for the fight
was not mentioned.
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 Cruzs comeback was cut
short when he knee failed again last week in training, forcing
him back onto the operating table.
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 wasnt
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 didnt 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 didnt take
to my body, and the cadaver tendon failed and it split. It happens.
There is nothing you can do.
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
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.
Palace Update: TPF Matchmaker Confirms Casinos Decision
to Discontinue Events
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 councils annual meeting
to discuss the casinos entertainment options in the coming
year. As a result, TPF 16, which was scheduled to go down Feb.
21, will not take place. However, Sherdogs source also
stated that if the decision is disputed by the people of the
tribe, the populations opinion could sway the council to
change its decision. Nevertheless, even if the tribe votes to
challenge the councils 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 Sherdogs source.
Friday, Sherdog.com 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.
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.
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
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 organizations
first 24 events before the WEC was bought out by Ultimate Fighting
Championship parent company Zuffa at the end of 2006.
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.
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 Sherdog.com 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
Machine: Toughest Part of Jail Is Getting Out
Machine thought hed 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.
hes once again a free man and hoping to restart his fight
career in Bellator.
time I got out, I didnt do anything wrong, War Machine,
formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver, told the Sherdog Radio Networks
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 hadnt done nothing wrong. I was just doing
the same exact thing as Im doing now. I was already making
the effort to change after the first sentence.
plan to stay out of trouble is to stay out of bars and clubs.
dont get in trouble anywhere else, he said. Its
not as fun. I cant 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. Thats
all I do. I train and I come home. My life is just training,
food, Internet and late-night booty. Thats it.
particular, War Machine is focused on getting back in fight shape
after spending months in a jail cell. So far its been easier
than his first time.
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 dont know why. I dont
know if it was just because psychologically I already did it
once and it was easier the second time around, but this time
it wasnt as hard to get back in the swing of things. But
its still tough. Besides training, it was a lot of emotional
anxiety. A lot of feelings hit you when you first get out.
fact, he said getting out is actually tougher than being in jail.
so hard when you get out, War Machine said. Getting
out is the toughest, scariest part. Thats why these guys
stay in there. Its just easier.
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.
get a lot of crap for my out-of-the-cage antics and stuff, but
Ive never acted like a fool in the cage, he said.
Ive never disrespected no one in the cage. Ive
never acted like an idiot ever. I come to fight and Im
professional. I dont play any games. I try to win. I try
to put on a good show. Im a professional when Im
in that cage. I might get a little wild on the outside and say
funny things and be a goofball, but when Im in there, Im
all business. I think thats what I really should be judged
for when it comes to fighting because thats my job. My
job is to fight. Thats what I do. Everything else is pretty
much my personal life.
on Fox 5 Fight Bonuses Net Big Payday for Scott Jorgensen
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.
fighters that did capture the post-fight honors were rewarded
with $65,000 each for their efforts.
fight of the night honors went to the first fight on the card,
the Facebook streamed bout between Scott Jorgensen and John Albert.
fight looked as though it was going Alberts 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.
squeezed with all his might, Albert finally submitting just milliseconds
before the horn sounded.
back-and-forth battle netted the two Fight of the Night honors,
but the finish also earned Jorgensen the Submission of the Night,
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.
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.
official UFC on Fox 5 post-fight bonuses were issued to the tune
of $260,000 total on Saturday night in Seattle.
Diaz suffered eye injury early in UFC on FOX 5 title fight
-- 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
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
soon as this eye heals up, I'm ready to go."
11?s Josh Bryant Going for Gold at King of the Cage: Unfication
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 doesnt want what happened to him in his last fight with
the promotion to become a pattern.
feel like I didnt 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. Ive since made
it a conscience effort to not let that happen again and so far
its been working for me.
matter what anybody says, getting a contract in the UFC and then
get it ripped out definitely puts a little chip on your shoulder.
Youve got something to prove to yourself and the people
around you. Every time youre out there you look at it as
being the next step toward getting back to the big show.
hes been successful over the last couple of years, it wasnt
always easy, as an injury sidelined Bryant for nearly a year
during his winning streak.
come off an injury, youre 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.
is always nice to come off an injury and feel just as good as
before it happened.
success has earned him a middleweight title shot at Saturdays
King of the Cage: Unification show in Tulsa, Okla., where hes
scheduled to take on reigning champion Sean Strickland.
think (Strickland) is a strong guy and aggressive when pushed,
so I think Im going to be able to dictate the pace of the
fight, which I like to do, said Bryant. I also feel
like he doesnt really set much up, he just reacts to whats
going on in the fight, so I think my experience will help me
get a win over him.
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.
win over Strickland would put the cap on a year thats 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.
take each fight as it comes, but Im always putting my name
out there and in the hat, and I think theres some big doors
open for me next year, said Bryant. Ive been
in contact with several promotions and I think there will be
lots of opportunities.
now, Im focused on this fight, focused on getting this
win, because every loss hurts your chances and hurts your pocket.
Its not every day you get an opportunity like this, so
when you get them youve got to capitalize on it, and thats
my game plan, to capitalize on it and use it.
Mendes Now Faces Yaotzin Meza at UFC on FX 6 with Hacran Dias
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
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.
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
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.
officials have yet to announce the switch, but its likely
the Mendes vs. Meza fight will still occupy a slot on the televised
card airing on FX.
Cigano Promoted to Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu
champion Junior Cigano was promoted to black belt by his instructor
Yuri Carlton this Saturday.
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.
happy UFC champion had the following to say over Twitter:
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
one of the Brazilian now-black belts 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.
to Make After UFC on Fox 5
Henderson turned what many viewed as a potential Fight
of the Year contender into a rout.
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.
was utterly exceptional. The 29-year-old MMA Lab standout struck
for eight takedowns in the 25-minute clash and, according to
FightMetric.com 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 challengers only two official submission attempts
in the third round.
Diaz tried worked, standing or on the ground, and as his frustration
grew, so did the champions confidence. He scored with only
three significant strikes between rounds three and four. Henderson,
by comparison, delivered 45 of them. He neutralized Diazs
exceptional boxing skills by attacking his legs with ruthless
kicks, smothering him with clinches and grounding him over and
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.
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.
the wake of UFC on Fox 5 Henderson vs. Diaz, here
are six other matchups that need to be made:
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.
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.
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
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
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 cant-miss prospect, at UFC 156 on Feb. 2.
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 Jacksons 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.