Friday, 31 August 2012
When UFC light heavyweight title-holder Jon Jones was recently asked about the prospect of possibly fighting Lyoto Machida a second time, as will be the case if ?Bones? gets by Dan Henderson at UFC 151, the 25-year old champion showed minimal interest in the match-up rather than excitement about taking one of the division?s toughest tests a second time. According to Jones, his main source of opposition to the pairing has to do with the low PPV numbers his December dance with Machida drew and the negative impact in had on his income.
Machida?s camp has since responded to the matter, pointing out some key figures while expressing their disappointment in Jones? attitude.
In a rare bit of online news from UFC Tonight, manager Ed Soares explained that international PPVs generally draw 30% less buys than domestic cards meaning it may not have necessarily been Machida’s fault the show didn’t do as well as others have. He also pointed to Machida?s knockout of Ryan Bader on FOX in August increasing fans’ desire to see “The Dragon” fight, also adding Machida?s respectful attitude may have hurt the buy-rate as well when compared to trash-talkers like Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans.
Fortunately for Machida, Jones not only has a difficult draw ahead of him in Henderson but also isn?t the UFC matchmaker.
Check out the full video below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFCTweet
ENNIS: Lay of the Land - Comprehensive Breakdown of UFC's Lightweight Division (August 2012, Part Two)
Continuing the theme from the last "Lay of the Land," this section will break down the scheduled UFC lightweight fights into tiers. Each tier means something different as far as relevance, which will be explained below. For each tier we'll break down the fights and give a quick prediction. After all the fights are broken down, I'll break the rest of the fighters into groups and match them up in fights I'd like to see. Note: If I mentioned them in Part 1, I won't mention them again unless they're fighting someone in the pool. Here we go.
These fights are the bottom of the heap - that's not necessarily saying that these are the worst fighters in the division, but these are the guys whose jobs are either on the line now, or could be shortly
Marcus Levesseur (21-6) vs. Carlo Prater (30-11-1) - UFC on FX 5 ? October 5
Both of these fighters are only coming off of one loss, but there are extenuating circumstances. Prater was brought into the UFC 10 years into a well-traveled career. But the veteran was given a gift DQ win over Erick Silva in his debut (though admittedly he was fighting out of his weight class,) and in his lightweight debut for the company he was given a one-sided decision loss to T.J. Grant. I'm pretty high on Grant, so it's hard for me to count that too much against him. On the other hand, you have Levesseur. He was brought in to fight Cody McKenzie in his debut, where he lost by guillotine choke. If you lose by guillotine to Cody McKenzie, you probably don't belong in the UFC. And if Prater loses to Levesseur, it doesn't do wonders for his chances to stay with the promotion. I've got Prater winning this one by submission and sending Levesseur back to the local circuits.
Yves Edwards (41-18-1) vs. Jeremy Stephens (20-8) ? UFC on FX 5 ? October 5
I hate having either one of these guys in danger of leaving the UFC, as both put on fun fights. But Stephens is coming off of back-to-back unimpressive losses (albeit against Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis). Edwards is in a little better position, having only lost his last fight, but he's 2-2 over his last four, and the wins were over Cody McKenzie and Rafaello Oliveira, who are not exactly the cream of the crop (though both are still with the UFC for now.) I think Stephens probably wins this one, and it'll be a lot of fun to watch. I don't know if Edwards would be let go right away, and I'd hate to see a guy like that go, but being 1-3 in his last four isn't going to do him any favors.
Mac Danzig (21-9-1) vs. Takanori Gomi (33-8) ? UFC on Fuel 6 ? November 19
Seeing Takanori Gomi anymore just makes me sad. The only way he's gotten a win in the last three years is by beating up blown up featherweights. And Danzig hasn't had a relevant win since 2008 when he won the aforementioned fight against Mark Bocek. Even with both fighters coming off of wins, you could hardly be surprised if the loser is cut. As for a pick, I hardly even know how to make one, but I'm going with Gomi for old times' sake.
These fights will have debuting or newer fighters, along with those who are declining or seem stuck in a rut but aren't necessarily in danger of being cut.
Jacob Volkmann (14-3) vs. Shane Roller (11-6) ? UFC on FX 5 ? October 5
The ramifications of this fight are a little tough to anticipate. It could very easily be in Tier 3, 4 or 5 depending on what the UFC thinks of Volkmann. "Christmas" entered the UFC as a welterweight and went 0-2 in short order against Paulo Thiago and Martin Kampmann. He then dropped to lightweight and won five straight before becoming the latest victim of the "Sassangle" employed by Paul Sass. So. Do those who make the decisions regard Volkmann as a guy who won five straight before losing to Sass, or do they see him as the guy who won five straight un-electrifying decisions over guys who are mostly out of the UFC (Danny Castillo being the lone exception?) That will be what decides Volkmann's fate should he lose to Roller. Shane Roller, should he lose, will be in the unenviable position of having gone 1-4 in his last five fights. It could be tough to justify keeping him on the roster with that kind of recent history. I think Volkmann probably picks up a close decision win here.
Reza Madadi (12-2) vs. Cristiano Marcelo (12-4) ? UFC 153 ? October 13
I like Madadi as a prospect but I do have my doubts about him. The fight with Marcelo should be a revelation. Marcelo's striking game, unless something changes drastically from the last time we saw him against Sam Sicilia, is non-existent. Madadi was being handled on the feet against Yoislandy Izquierdo before catching him in a guillotine. The smart gameplan if you've got even decent striking is to keep the fight standing against Marcelo. Whether Madadi does that, or whether he's able to win the standup, will give a better (if still incomplete) idea of whether he'll have some staying power in the UFC. I tend to think that Madadi will win the standup battle but not look as impressive as you would expect a real prospect to look en route to a decision win. Marcelo will likely be cut at that point, while Madadi is given a stiffer test.
Tim Means (18-3) vs. Abel Trujillo (9-4) ? UFC on Fox 5 ? December 8
On the surface, this one seems pretty simple. From what I've seen out of Trujillo, in order to win this fight he's going to have to take it to the ground. From what I've seen of Means, that won't be an easy task. I'm definitely high on Means as a prospect and I think he makes this one look pretty easy, either cruising to a decision or scoring a TKO. Not a foregone conclusion by any means, but that's the most likely scenario in my book.
Daron Cruickshank (11-2) vs. Henry Martinez (9-2) ? UFC on Fox 5 ? December 8
This one is a little tough to call. Martinez debuted in the UFC a weight class above his own when he fought Matt Riddle at UFC 143. He had a good showing for a guy who was massively undersized but ended up on the wrong end of a decision. After that, I was expecting big things from him against Bernardo Magalhaes. Martinez did pull out the win, but it wasn't exactly a coming out party. That could be due at least in part to the fact that Magalhaes seems to be the kind of guy against whom it's not easy to look good against, but Tim Means managed to do just that in his debut. Cruickshank, on the other hand, showed a more striking-oriented game during his time on the TUF Live season, but abandoned that in a business-like decision over Chris Tickle at the finale. So in essence, I'm not sure what to expect from either guy. I think Martinez probably has a little more upside than Cruickshank, though that's not a sure thing, so I'll give him the edge to win a decision in December.
Ramsey Nijem (6-2) vs. Joe Proctor (8-1) ? UFC on Fox 5 ? December 8
In a battle of TUF standouts, TUF 13 runner-up Nijem takes on TUF Live contestant Proctor. Nijem, while obviously not facing top-tier competition since his loss to Tony Ferguson, has looked pretty good in his two bouts since the finale. Proctor looked pretty game as well in his two fights on the show, and his finish of Jeremy Larsen at the TUF Live Finale was quite impressive. This is one of your typical TUF vs. TUF fights that won't bean a whole lot in the long run, but the result could be more telling in retrospect than it will as it happens, if that makes sense. This is a tough one to call, and I think I'm going to go with Proctor here if only because I think his game is more complete. I will stipulate, though, that I could be completely wrong.
This is your "middle of the pack" tier. The fighters in this category are probably fringe top 25 guys and below who are usually fighting to get into "the mix," as it were. From time to time you'll see a tier 3 fighter matched with a tier 5 fighter, or someone who's on the verge of being sent packing. Those fights will usually end up here, though there's no hard and fast rule about that.
Michael Johnson (11-6) vs. Danny Castillo (14-4) ? UFC on FX 5 ? October 5
I was not high on Michael Johnson at all coming out of his season on The Ultimate Fighter. After his loss to Paul Sass at UFC on Versus 6, I figured that would be the beginning of the end of Johnson's UFC run. But then something happened when he fought Shane Roller at the UFC's second Fox show this past January. Michael Johnson looked terrific. That continued when he faced TUF winner Tony Ferguson at the third Fox show. Johnson has been training in Florida with the Blackzilians camp, and that seems to have made all the difference. Castillo, besides having one of the few great nicknames in MMA, has gone 6-1 in his last seven fights. Most recently he took out John Cholish, who I thought had a decent chance to win the fight before it happened. And despite being wrong about that one, I'm going against Castillo again here. I think Johnson will continue his hot streak. I don't know how long it will last, but I've seen enough of him to convince me that he'll get past "Last Call," probably via decision.
Thiago Tavares (17-4-1) vs. Dennis Hallman (51-14-2) ? UFC on FX 5 ? October 5
It had been a while since Dennis Hallman fought at lightweight, but after losing to Brian Ebersole at UFC 133, the veteran of almost 70 professional fights decided to return to 155 pounds. He made an impressive debut, taking out the 9-0 (at the time) John Makdessi in quick and definitive fashion at UFC 140. Tavares has been winning fights, but his four wins since 2009 have come against the murderer's row of Manny Gamburyan, Pat Audinwood, Spencer Fisher, and Sam Stout. Stout is a tough guy but not exactly a world-beater. If Tavares doesn't get injured before this fight happens (which is a real possibility,) I think Hallman wins big. Don't look now, but I've got Hallman making a run. Not a title run, mind you, but a run toward the top 15 or so. You heard it here first.
This category contains fights with at least one top 20 fighter, and usually both will be in the top 20-25.
Evan Dunham (13-2) vs. T.J. Grant (18-5) ? UFC 152 ? September 22
Tell me if this one sounds familiar: After debuting at welterweight and going 3-3, TJ Grant dropped to lightweight in October of last year and promptly looked very good in his first two wins, going 2-0. Though his lightweight debut against Shane Roller was stopped prematurely by Fernando Yamasaki (otherwise known as "being Wario'd,") Grant should have been ahead on the cards and would likely have picked up the win either way. He followed that up by putting on a clinic against Carlo Prater on the UFC's third Fuel card. Evan Dunham is a bit of a different story. The Xtreme Couture lightweight started off going 4-0 in the division before losing a robbery of a decision to Sean Sherk at UFC 119, then being plastered by Melvin Guillard, which at least temporarily derailed his hopes of being a title contender. He has since rebounded with wins over Shamar Bailey and Nik Lentz, but Grant will be tougher than those two. I think both of these guys have a chance at being highly-ranked fighters, but I'm seeing Dunham getting the job done this time. As it happens, I wouldn't rule out Grant actually having a brighter future at lightweight than Dunham, but right now I'm feeling good about the latter's chances at UFC 152. This one more than likely goes to decision, but it should be a fun grappling-centric match.
Gilbert Melendez (21-2) vs. Pat Healy (28-16) ? Strikeforce Melendez vs. Healy ? September 29
I don't have much to say about this one. The only reason it's tier 2 and not tier one is that you've got a top 5 lightweight fighting a guy who's unranked. Melendez rolls here. Also, it's a joke that he's not in the UFC. Please kill Strikeforce.
Paul Sass (13-0) vs. Matt Wiman (14-6) ? UFC on Fuel 5 ? September 29
Let's not mince words here: I'm going with Sass. Let's look at some numbers: 13 ? number of wins; 12 ? number of submissions; 9 ? number of triangle chokes; 3 ? number of heel hooks; 2 ? number of times outside the first round. These numbers wouldn't be completely insane if they all came outside the UFC (Cody McKenzie, anyone?) But when you consider that Sass is 3-0 in the UFC with three first round finishes? That's incredible. Everyone knows he's got triangles and heel hooks, and so far no one has been able to stop them. Will Matt Wiman suffer his first submission loss when they meet in Nottingham? I say yes. I think Wiman is often unfairly overlooked, but I also think that Sass is the real deal.
Josh Thomson (19-5) vs. Caros Fodor (7-2) ? Strikeforce Melendez vs. Healy ? September 29
Again, Josh Thomson is a top-20 lightweight. If he's got a contract with Zuffa, he should be in the UFC. Thomson wins in the second. Please kill Strikeforce.
Eddie Alvarez (23-3) vs. Patricky Freire ? Bellator 76 ? October 12
Alright, usually I don't count non-Zuffa fights because this is a breakdown of the UFC lightweight division after all. But I think it's worth paying attention to this fight. This will be the last fight on Alvarez's contract with Bellator. If he wins, there's probably a better chance that he'll show up in the UFC than if he loses. And of course, there's also the fact that I've been driving the Eddie Alvarez bandwagon since he was fighting as a welterweight in Bodog back in 2007. His fights with Tatsuya Kawijiri and Joachim Hansen in the 2008 Dream Grand Prix were epic. His first seven fights in Bellator (six stoppages) were dominant. His fight with Chandler, even in a losing effort, was a classic. I think he gets by Freire in October (though "Pitbull" is a nice fighter in his own right) and I hope that means he'll end up in the UFC in early 2013. There are a lot of great fights waiting for him there.
Mark Bocek (11-4) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (17-6) ? UFC 154 ? November 17
I'm torn here. Bocek is a good fighter, and possibly somewhat underrated. I've got him somewhere between top 15 and top 20. The problem is that he's either faced elite competition and lost, or he's beaten guys whose UFC tenures don't last. The only current UFC fighter Bocek has beaten in his seven wins is Nik Lentz, and he's at featherweight. Bocek's losses? Frankie Edgar, Ben Henderson, Jim Miller, and Mac Danzig. Danzig is a bit of an outlier, but it happened in 2008. Dos Anjos is 6-4 in the UFC. His wins are against better names, but his losses are against smaller ones. I'm not trying to play MMA Math here of course, but it's worth mentioning. And now that I've said I'm not necessarily picking the guy with the more impressive record, I think dos Anjos takes this one. Bocek's grappling is very good, but dos Anjos is no slouch on the mat either, and his striking is better than Bocek's. I think dos Anjos will be able to stay out of trouble on the floor and win the fight on the feet en route to a late stoppage or decision.
These fights have at least one top 10 fighter, and this is also where the #1 contender fights go.
Joe Lauzon (22-7) vs. Gray Maynard (11-1-1) ? UFC 155 ? December 29
Gray Maynard can't catch a break. He draws Frankie Edgar in his first title shot, then loses his second via TKO, then even when he wins against Clay Guida, the fight was terrible. Though you could count it as a win for him as he picked up some fans during that fight for goading Guida and trying to push the pace. Either way, he won't have that problem against Lauzon. And as for Lauzon himself, every time he's had a chance to make the leap into contendership, it hasn't gone well. His momentum has stalled out three times. Once against Kenny Florian, once against a streaking George Sotiropoulos, and most recently in a spectacular knockout loss to Anthony Pettis, who will presumably fight Donald Cerrone for a title shot sometime in the near future. I'd love to pick Lauzon to win this fight, but I just can't do it. And while I'd love to say it'll be a lot of fun to watch, I'm not so sure about that either. Maynard's best shot is to take Lauzon down and control him. Lauzon has good submissions, and that's probably his best shot at winning, but I think Maynard's wrestling wins the day here.
For the rest of the fighters, I'm going to follow a similar pattern. They'll be grouped into tiers and then matched up according to their tier and whether they won or lost their last fights. Guys who are ascending may fight someone in a higher tier, or vice versa. This is the first time I've attempted to be quite this meticulous with this part of the division, so let's see how it goes.
Tier 5: Aaron Riley, John Makdessi, Jeremy Larsen, John Cofer, Mitch Clarke, Rafaello Oliveira, Spencer Fisher, TJ O'Brien
Tier 4: Al Iaquinta, Anthony Njokuani, Anton Kuivanen, CJ Keith, Fabricio Camoes, James Vick, John Cholish, Justin Salas, Michael Chiesa, Myles Jury, Paul Taylor, Sam Stout, Terry Etim
Tier 3: Edson Barboza, George Sotiropoulos, Jamie Varner, Sean Sherk, Tony Ferguson
Tier 2: Diego Sanchez, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Melvin Guillard
Tier 1: Clay Guida, Donald Cerrone, Anthony Pettis, Jim Miller
TJ O'Brien is a strange case, because he's on the UFC's roster, but his last two fights have come outside the UFC and he doesn't have anything scheduled at the moment. But if we look at the other fighters on the fifth and fourth tier, here's what I'm seeing:
I want to see whether John Makdessi can bounce back. So I'm going to give him Mitch Clarke in your traditional "loser leaves town" fight. CJ Keith didn't look so good in his debut against Ramsey Nijem, so I'm going to see how he does against another TUF guy in Jeremy Larsen. This is probably another one in which the loser doesn't stick. James Vick was on the TUF Live season but has yet to make his official debut. I'd stick him in there with Anton Kuivanen and see what happens. Even though Al Iaquinta is coming off of a loss and Rafaello Oliveira won his last fight, I like that matchup. I'm not a believer in Oliveira, so I'd be interested to see how Iaquinta would handle him.
Aaron Riley is an interesting case. Though I've got him in a tenuous position as far as his UFC career is concerned, he's still a tough out for anyone and he's been around forever. I'd probably match him up with someone like George Sotiropoulos. Even though I've got the Aussie two tiers ahead of Riley, he'll be coming back from a long layoff, and Riley is a vet. To finish off the fifth tier, let's match up John Cofer, who was knocked out by Justin Lawrence at the TUF Finale, with Justin Salas, who was pretty highly regarded coming into the UFC. He was hurt early by Tim Means and never got into the fight, so Cofer would be a good gauge for him. Note: I'm leaving off Spencer Fisher because I'm not sure if he's actually retired, and I'm leaving off O'Brien because I don't know what his actual deal is.
The rest of the fighters in the fourth tier match up pretty naturally, I think. Hopefully Paul Taylor is healthy in this fantasy matchmaking world, because I love a fight between him and Myles Jury. I'm high on Jury, and that would just be a fun fight. And even though Micheal Chiesa won the TUF Live season, I'm not as high on him. Let's see how he does with Sam Stout. That leaves two victims of Edson Barboza in Terry Etim (who could forget that one?) and Anthony Njokuani. I like that fight quite a bit as well. And to finish up the fourth tier, let's match Fabricio Camoes with, well, who else? Edson Barboza. That puts Camoes in with two straight fearsome strikers as he just lost his last fight to Melvin Guillard, but that's just life in the UFC.
Speaking of Guillard, we're going to leave him off for now. We've got nine fighters left (not including Sherk, who is on the roster but has been MIA since his gift win over Evan Dunham in September 2010,) which means one is going to be left out. And since Guillard just got pasted by Donald Cerrone, he gets a break.
So the rest of the division shakes out like this: Diego Sanchez makes his return to lightweight in a fight that is going to be fantastic when he takes on Jamie Varner. Tony Ferguson fights Khabib Nurmagomedov. Ferguson is coming off of a loss, and Nurmagomedov just beat Gleison Tibau, but we're going to let that slide here, especially since the decision in Khabib's favor wasn't without controversy. We already know that Donald Cerrone is fighting Anthony Pettis to see who will potentially get the next title shot, so that one goes without saying. And finally, doesn't it seem like Clay Guida and Jim Miller have fought before? Well they haven't, and now is a time that makes perfect sense for that fight. I'd like to see the loser of that one fight a debuting Eddie Alvarez next year.
A couple of guys who weren't mentioned but bear mentioning: Michael Chandler, who will defend the Bellator Lightweight Title against Rick Hawn, who has looked very impressive as a lightweight, and Shinya Aoki, who is floating around the Asian promotions and will probably never fight for Zuffa (which is just as well, because he would get stomped).
To summarize, and for easy reference to see how many of these matchups come true, here is the final list of matches I would make for the fighters who don't have fights scheduled:
John Makdessi (9-2) vs. Mitch Clarke (9-2)
CJ Keith (8-1) vs. Jeremy Larsen (8-3, 1 NC)
James Vick (4-0) vs. Anton Kuivanen (17-5)
Al Iaquinta (5-2-1) vs. Rafaello Oliveira (15-5)
Aaron Riley (30-13-1) vs. George Sotiropoulos (14-4)
John Cofer (7-2) vs. Justin Salas (10-4)
Paul Taylor (11-6) vs. Myles Jury (10-0)
Michael Chiesa (8-0) vs. Sam Stout (18-7-1)
Terry Etim (15-4) vs. Anthony Njokuani (15-7, 1 NC)
Edson Barboza (10-1) vs. Fabricio Camoes (14-7-1)
Diego Sanchez (23-5) vs. Jamie Varner (20-7) - loser fights Guillard
Tony Ferguson (13-3) vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov (18-0)
Clay Guida (29-13) vs. Jim Miller (21-4)
So that's about it. Did I miss anyone? Let me know what you think in the comments, shoot me an email at ennistorch(at)gmail(dot)com, or hit me up on Twitter - @shawnennis.
History of the UFC Lightweight Championship
*Bold indicates title changing hands
2/23/01 ? J. Pulver def C. Uno (Decision)
9/28/01 ? J. Pulver def D. Hallman (Decision)
1/11/02 ? J. Pulver def B. Penn (Decision)
*Pulver stripped due to contract dispute*
2/28/03 ? B. Penn draw C. Uno
*Lightweight division dissolved*
10/14/06 ? S. Sherk def K. Florian (Decision)
7/7/07 ? S. Sherk def H. Franca (Decision)
*Sherk stripped due to positive steroids test*
1/19/08 ? B. Penn def J. Stevenson (Submission)
5/24/08 ? B. Penn def S. Sherk (TKO)
8/8/09 ? B. Penn def K. Florian (Submission)
12/12/09 ? B. Penn def D. Sanchez (TKO)
4/10/10 ? F. Edgar def B. Penn (Decision)
8/28/10 ? F. Edgar def B. Penn (Decision)
1/1/11 ? F. Edgar draw G. Maynard
10/8/11 ? F. Edgar def G. Maynard (TKO)
2/26/12 ? B. Henderson def F. Edgar (Decision)
8/11/12 ? B. Henderson def F. Edgar (Decision)
Longest Title Reign: B.J. Penn ? 812 days
Most Title Defenses: B.J. Penn/Frankie Edgar (3)
Current Title Reign: Ben Henderson (186 days, 1 defense)
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker on Wednesday announced the signing of Cat Zingano, who will make her debut next month against Amanda Nunes at "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy."
"Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy" takes place Sept. 29 at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, Calif., and features a lightweight title fight between champion Gilbert Melendez and Pat Healy.
UFC on FOX 5 has some brand new fights. The biggest fight was announced by...
Although Mosley came out fighting hard with a good first round, it was all Pacquiao from there on. Pacquiao knocked Mosley down in the third and dominated the fight throughout. Technically Mosley knocked Pacquiao down in the 10th round, but in reality Pacquiao fell when Mosley tripped him, and the referee made a mistake in calling it a knockdown. In reality, Mosley never had Pacquiao in any trouble, at any point in the fight.
All three judges awarded it to Pacquiao by lopsided scores: 119-108, 120-108 and 120-107. According to the pay-per-view broadcast, Pacquiao landed exactly 100 more punches than Mosley did (182 to 82) and threw more than twice as many punches (552 to 260).
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer<Br><Br>
Jon Jones not accepting a fight on short notice after Dan Henderson pulled over of UFC 151 with an injured knee forced the promotion to cancel the whole event leading to one biggest blow ups in UFC history.<Br><Br>
Jones spoke to MMAJunkie.com about the situation:<Br><Br>
"I definitely apologize to the other fighters on the card," Jones said. "I feel terrible, but it also wasn't my decision to cancel the whole card. I don't make those decisions.<Br><Br>
"I take a lot of pride in the way I perform, and I want to put on the best performance possible every time I fight. I don't want to go out there just to win the fight. I want to go out there to dominate. I want to make it look effortless. I want it to be a beautiful thing."<Br><Br>
"Chael is completely different fighter," Jones said. "This is war. This is strategy. You have to go in there prepared and know that you did your homework. I wouldn't be the same warrior if I just jumped in there blindly and was cutting weight while I was trying to prepare for the fight.<Br><Br>
"Greg Jackson wasn't going to show up until Friday. Coach (Mike) Winkeljohn wasn't going to be there until Wednesday or Thursday. I would have been pretty much on my own trying to prepare for a new opponent. That's just not the best way to prepare."<Br><Br>
Read more <a href=http://mmajunkie.com/news/30352/jon-jones-laments-loss-of-ufc-151-but-stands-behind-decision-to-turn-down-replacement.mma>HERE</a><Br><Br>
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>Forums</a> and/or the MMANEWS.COM <a href=http://www.facebook.com/mmanewsdotcom
>Facebook</a>. If that wasn't enough, MMANEWS.COM is now on Twitter as well <a href=http://twitter.com/mmanewsdotcom
Thursday, 30 August 2012
Tickets are on sale now and are available at Ticketmaster.com, Bellator.com and in-person at the Casino Rama Box Office. Tickets are priced from $25-$175.<Br><Br>
?From Michael Chandler?s vicious knockout of MMA legend Akihiro Gono to Douglas Lima?s brutal finish over Ben Saunders, we?ve seen some tremendous fights at Casino Rama, and I expect the same on November 2,? said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. ?Our fans in Ontario have always been top notch, and they are for another great night with names like Eduardo Dantas, Paul Daley and Ryan ?The Real Deal? Ford.?<Br><Br>
Known as one of the greatest bantamweights in MMA, Eduardo Dantas burst onto the MMA scene in 2011 with three impressive victories to capture the Bellator Season 5 Bantamweight Tournament crown, and guarantee his shot against then Bellator Champion Zach Makovsky. With momentum clearly on his side, Dantas was in complete control and eventually secured a second round submission victory over Makovsky to become Bellator?s youngest champion. Only 23, Dantas is ready to defend his title at Bellator 79 on November 2.<Br><Br>
After making quick work of Rudy ?Bad News? Bears at Bellator 72, British knockout artist Paul ?Semtex? Daley will return to the Bellator cage in welterweight action. Known across the MMA landscape as one of the hardest hitters in the sport, ?Semtex? will be eyeing another victory as he prepares for his first Welterweight Tournament appearance in early 2013 on Spike.<Br><Br>
With one of the largest fan bases in all of Canada, Ryan ?The Real Deal? Ford is ready to collect another Bellator win as he re-enters the Bellator cage at Casino Rama. Ford made his Bellator debut at Casino Rama earlier in 2012, defeating 53-8 Luis Santos in dominating fashion. Ford had the Ontario faithful on its feet, and the Tristar Gym product will be looking for the same November 2.<Br><Br>
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator<Br><Br>
Leave your feedback on this article by posting a comment directly below! You can also chat about the latest news in the MMANEWS.COM <a href=http://www.mmanews.com/forums
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>Facebook</a>. If that wasn't enough, MMANEWS.COM is now on Twitter as well <a href=http://twitter.com/mmanewsdotcom
In between that end result, the UFC attempted to set up fights between Jones and Chael Sonnen to save UFC 151, and then Jones and Lyoto Machida or Shogun Rua at UFC 152. Ultimately, it was Belfort who stepped up for the Sept. 22 event, and the UFC presented that fight to Jones instead of Sonnen at that point.
For his part, Sonnen's very complimentary of the man who took what some people would say was his place at UFC 152, and is pulling for "The Phenom" to defeat the young Champion in Toronto.
"Vitor's an excellent fighter," Sonnen said in an interview with MMAJunkie.com. "It's world champion after world champion that he fights, and this isn't any different. It's a good chance for Vitor, and I hope he seizes the moment."
That doesn't mean the UFC's decision made sense to Sonnen. He had stepped up to fight Jones on eight days' notice for UFC 151, and though the Champ wasn't prepared to take any replacement on that short of notice, he was open to any opponent on Sept. 22, Sonnen included. But Sonnen insists he wasn't disappointed in the crazy series of events that closed out last week.
"No, I definitely wouldn't use a word like that," he said. "If there was any word to describe what happened in that 48-hour period, it would be surprised. Maybe even one step further of disbelief... We're used to being attacked by competition. We welcome it. We're used to being attacked by the states because it's an opportunity to go in and educate them. But what we're not used to is being attacked from within."
"We're not used to having one of our own set off a grenade and walk away laughing and never look back. It was really kind of an unbelievable experience from where I stand."
Before everything happened last week, Sonnen was lined up for a fight against Forrest Griffin at UFC 155 in December. With everything that's been shuffled and moving in the last week, however, Sonnen hinted that he may be getting a different assignment.
"We'll see," Sonnen said. "There's going to be some news coming out on me soon. We'll see how things play out. Stay tuned."
Penick's Analysis: Sonnen's either holding out in the hopes that Belfort goes down and he gets the shot against Jones, or the UFC's going an entirely different route for his next fight than Griffin. That bout still makes a ton of sense, so the only thing I can think of is Sonnen wanting to return to action more quickly than December, which would possibly necessitate a different opponent at that point. As for his take on Belfort, it's simply surprising to see him say anything complimentary about one of his Brazilian colleagues, as we're used to a very different line of talk from him on that subject.
[Chael Sonnen art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
When last we saw Al Iaquinta, the heavily-favored "The Ultimate Fighter ? Season 15" finalist was falling prey to a choke courtesy of Mike Chiesa ? a surprising turn of events that left the Matt Serra/Ray Longo product unconscious and Chiesa earning the moniker "Ultimate Fighter".� But, as is usually the case with TUF competitors who crush nearly all who stand before them on the show and leave a lasting impression on viewers, Iaquinta is expected to get a second chance in the Octagon.� Just when we'll get to see the 25-year-old slugger return, however, is another story entirely.� Cagewriter caught up with Iaquinta while the Long Island, N.Y., resident convalesces at his home, recovering from knee surgery.
What's up with your knee?
"I just got surgery yesterday.� I tore some cartilage on the show, and I thought it was going to get better but it just wasn't healing up.� So I got an MRI, and they said I probably should have surgery, and I got it fixed."
When did this happen?
"This was the second-to-last fight, against [Vinc] Pichel.� We clashed knees a couple times, and I messed it up pretty good.� It didn't bother me in the finale.� But afterwards I thought it was going to get better, and it didn't heal right so I got it fixed up."
How soon are you out for?
"Three months, but hopefully I get back sooner than that."
Are you in a lot of pain?
"No, no.� Surprisingly, no.� They gave me a bunch of painkillers but I haven't taken anything.� I've got it in a brace most of the time, and I'm on crutches, and the doctor said I can put a little pressure on it.� Originally, they wanted to cut me open and go in there and take stuff out, then put me back together.� But I got a second opinion, and this doctor did it arthroscopically.� It cuts the healing time in half."
Is this your first knee injury?
"Yeah, it's always been my hands.� But my hands have been holding up pretty good, and now it's my knee."
Would you say your knee played a role in your loss to Chiesa?
"Nah.� It was tough training that week, leading up to that fight.� But once I got in there and got the adrenaline going, it really wasn't a factor in that fight.� Once the bell rang, it wasn't even in my mind.� I just messed up and got caught, you know?"
Dana White has said that TUF is going back to being prerecorded.� How does it feel to know that you were part of the only season where TUF was live?
"That's definitely cool.� I think there are a number of reasons why they're doing that.� I think financially for them it didn't make sense.� It cost them I don't know how many times more to bring in the extra crews for the live shows, and I don't know how many more viewers they got for that.� Being on Friday night, that didn't make too much sense to me.� Being on Friday night, I think the demographic they're looking for is probably out.� I think cutting it down to six weeks and having it prerecorded is going to save them a lot of money.� Also, I think with the injuries and stuff? fighting three times in three weeks, you're not coming out of that unscathed.� My knee's banged up, and I know Chiesa, his hand's pretty banged up."
What's your best memory from being on the show?
"I don't think there's one thing that sticks out, I think it was just a general? just the camaraderie on our team that we had.� I made a lot of good friendships with the guys that were on Team Alpha Male and all the guys that were on Team Faber.� I'm definitely going to be training with a lot of them in the future.� It definitely broadened my horizons."
Did anyone get crazy in the house?
"We had a couple times in the house where we got pretty drunk, and that was really fun.� Thank God they never put it on TV.� Me and Chiesa, we actually got pretty drunk one day.� It was like a Tuesday, and the episode airs Friday, so we went crazy and broke some things, got a little nuts.� And it was like four days leading up to that episode where I was just praying every day that they wouldn't put it on.� I didn't want my parents, or anyone, to see that, and thank God they didn't put it on."
It didn't seem like there were a lot of pranks this season compared to other seasons.
"We didn't go crazy with the pranks, but we were definitely messing with each other.� I remember one day [Daron] Cruickshank stole the other team's toilet seat.� And he hid it in one of the trees, so they had no seat to sit on.� That was pretty funny.� But it was just silly stuff, nothing crazy.� They didn't really go too crazy with the pranks, thank God.� Everyone was really cool."
What was the worst thing about being stuck in the TUF House?
"The worst thing about being stuck in the house was that there were no girls.� For three months there were no girls, it was just a bunch of dudes.� I mean, every once in a while there were these two ladies that came over to do the Twitter ? we weren't allowed on the computers so we'd have to write out our Twitter ? and these two girls would come over and we'd all smell the perfume and drool all over them."
How was the food?
"The food was great.� It was actually too good.� We had a list and we'd write whatever we wanted and they'd bring it to us.� When you're trying to cut weight, and you've got whatever you need to eat, it's kind of tough at times.� We'd all hang out in the kitchen, and you start picking a little bit and picking a little bit, an hour or hour and a half later you've gained a couple pounds right there.� So it was tough to keep your weight down.� But we all helped each other out and tried our best.� We realized we were all in the same situation."
Most fighters film their last fight in the TUF House and go home and train for at least a month or two before the TUF finale.� How hard was it to go from the TUF House and a week later have to fight in the finale?
"That was real tough.� It was crazy, that week.� We went from not being able to do any interviews and not being able to talk to anybody, to having the biggest fight of my life and now everyone is trying to contact me and ask me how I'm doing, and then the interviews started coming.� That week was so hectic, to stay focused was tough.� But I did my best to stay focused, and I thought I was, leading up to that fight.� And it was great experience, I think I learned a lot about myself and a lot about the sport.� While I was there I trained with some of the best guys in the world, so I've got a good idea of where I'm at and what I need to work on."
What's next?� Has the UFC given you any indication about how they're going to use you?
"I haven't really been in too much contact with them ? we're just waiting for this to heal.� We're going to see how long this takes, and then I'll give them a call and tell them I'm ready and I'm sure they'll find me a fight.� But right now I'm just worried about getting this knee better and getting back in training.� I'm going a little stir crazy."
Thailand is famous for its fighters, but while they have won world titles in boxing, kickboxing and, of course, Muay Thai, there has yet to be a Thai MMA champion. Shannon Wiratchai is hoping to be the first and can take a step in the right direction by beating Mitch Chilson at ONE FC: Pride of a Nation on August 31.
It is the sort of fight he has dreamed about ever since he first started studying martial arts and, even more importantly for�Wiratchai, he will be representing Thailand on the international stage.
“I know fighters from the Philippines come to Thailand and Thai fighters go the Philippines all the time for boxing so there is a rivalry and I definitely want to do well because I want to show Thai fighters are the best,” exclaimed Wiratchai in an interview with Fighters.com.
Perhaps surprising given his nationality, Wiratchai’s speciality is not Muay Thai as he has a black belt in Judo and a good deal of MMA experience. His professional record is 2-0 and he is hoping to extend that winning streak when he takes on Chilson.
“I have won two fights but I think Chilson will be the best fighter I have ever faced. He works with some of the best coaches in Asia and he is good at Muay Thai, wrestling and Jiu Jitsu,” explained Wiratchai. “I am training hard at Tiger Muay Thai and working with Roger Huerta every day, my fitness and condition is the best it has ever been and I am hoping all the hard work will be worth it when I do my fight.”
Wiratchai’s first two fights were both in Bangkok where MMA is technically banned. That being said, he has never experienced anything on the scale of the next ONE FC event which is expected to attract 16,500 fans but is still sad that he might not get the chance to fight in his homeland again.
“So many people will be at ONE FC it is amazing. I never thought so many people would see me fight and I am very excited to go to the Philippines but I hope I can fight in Thailand again soon. Thailand is my home and all my friends love MMA, it is not fair that they are not allowed to see MMA anymore and I hope the Sports Authority of Thailand will change this decision,” stated the up-and-comer.
Although it is early in his career�Wiratchai �has already earned a reputation as being an entertaining fighter and you get the sense that every time he steps inside the cage he is enjoying himself. Perhaps it is because before MMA came around he never had an opportunity to use his martial arts experience in a competitive environment.
” I learned�Baguazhang which is a��Chinese martial art�and Judo, but in Thailand it is mainly Muay Thai and boxing so I never had a chance to use the skills which I had learned until MMA. I have done a lot of amateur MMA fights before I tried fighting in a cage for the first time, I really like to fight MMA,” said Wiratchai.
The trajectory of Wiratchai’s mixed martial arts career has moved more rapidly than might have been expected and he finds himself playing a part in one of the biggest Asian MMA events of the year in only his third fight. Most fighters will never get the opportunity to compete in a stadium filled with over 10,000 spectators and the 23 year old is not intimidated by the thought of fighting in front of so many fans.
“I am excited! I hope my friends will all get to watch the fight late on when it is shown on ESPN in Thailand, it is a big chance for me as a fighter and I hope I can fight my best. Chilson is good at everything, BJJ, wrestling, Muay Thai, so anything can happen in the fight. It will be fun!”
Fans can see how Wiratchai fares at ONE FC: Pride of a Nation when it takes place at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on August 31. The entire card can be viewed online through the company’s website.
PHOTO CREDIT – ONE FCTweet
However, it was Machida who turned down the opportunity he had earned on Fox earlier this month, leading to the UFC putting in Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 after Mauricio "Shogun" Rua also turned down the fight. In an interview with USA Today, Machida's manager Ed Soares explained why Machida didn't take the fight on Sept. 22.
"Lyoto wants nothing more to be champion once again," Soares said. "Unfortunately, a rematch with Jon Jones doesn't just mean another shot at the title. A second loss to the champion means you have to completely reinvent yourself. It just happened to Chael Sonnen and Frankie Edgar. It happened in the past with B.J. Penn and Rich Franklin.
"Lyoto believes he has a great chance to beat Jon Jones the next time they fight, but he also wants an opportunity to come into the fight at full strength. Jon Jones is a great champion, and we would never disrespect him by assuming we could beat him with any less than our best effort. And Lyoto believes he owes it to himself, to Jon, and to the fans to be fully prepared the next time he steps into cage."
Jones gave similar reasoning, at least from a timing standpoint, for not taking a fight with Chael Sonnen next week, but just like Jones accepted a fight a few weeks later, Machida was only looking for a few more weeks himself.
"When we were offered the chance to fight Jones again at UFC 152 in Toronto, I discussed it with Lyoto, and he said it just wasn't enough time," Soares said. "We asked if the fight could be moved back a few weeks to UFC 153. Unfortunately, the UFC wanted the fight to take place in Toronto."
"Lyoto just wants to know whatever happens in a rematch with Jon Jones that he gave his absolute best performance. Going in there at less than full strength and coming up short could mean Lyoto would be forced to reinvent himself in another division despite believing in his heart that he can still be light-heavyweight champion. That could be a thorn in his side for the rest of his life, and nobody wants to go through that."
White did hint that Machida will likely need to take another fight now before getting a title shot, but regardless of how he comes to it, Machida wants to be the best version of himself the second time he steps across the cage from the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
"Lyoto is happy with the decision he made, and I think Dana understands his position, as well," Soares said. "When Lyoto gets another shot at the belt, he wants to make sure he's putting his best foot forward. He knows he made some mistakes in that first fight with Jon, and he's looking forward to correcting them."
"When Lyoto does get his shot, I promise you're going to see the best Lyoto Machida you've ever seen."
Penick's Analysis: Machida's position is reasonable. He wanted to move the fight to Rio, the UFC wasn't willing to keep Jones out that long after already announcing him for the Toronto card, so they went another route. Machida showed against Ryan Bader that he's still an elite talent in this division, and if he brings a different approach into a rematch he'll may be able to have more success. However, those changes may not be able to get worked out in such a short training camp, meaning he'd be at a bigger disadvantage when on Sept. 22. A second loss in a title fight can displace a fighter from the picture in that division, so Machida's right to avoid rushing that fight.
[Lyoto Machida art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
Whether that's because there isn't one, or if it's because those problems just aren't as visually apparent as they might be in some of the men's divisions, that depends on who you ask.
But for what may very well be the final fight of her career, Rosi Sexton decided she wanted to do something different. That's why she fired off the email to the Volunteer Anti-Doping Association.
UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon recently picked up the tenth and eleventh event-specific bonuses of his career earlier this month by tapping out Jamie Varner in the third round of an exciting bout where his showing was named Submission of the Night and Fight of the Night. In his next outing, he?ll try to earn the biggest win of his career rather than a record-breaking twelfth performance-based paycheck.
According to a UFC announcement, Lauzon has agreed to mix it up with his TUF 5 cast-mate Gray Maynard on December 29 at UFC 155. The match-up will be one of the PPVs featured fights with the evening?s headliner likely involving a title-bout between heavyweights Junior dos Santos-Cain Velasquez.
Lauzon holds an overall record of 22-7 with eighteen submissions and four TKOs giving him a perfect mark when it comes to finishing opponents he?s beaten. He is 3-1 in his last four fights including a sub-minute tap-out of Melvin Guillard.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFCTweet
UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre appears to have gotten over the final hump in his lengthy journey back to the ring after tearing his ACL in late 2011. The 22-2 French Canadian recently took to Facebook where he revealed he had received clearance to fight again with his anticipated return still slated to come against Carlos Condit at UFC 154.
?(Monday) was the final chapter of my Road to Recovery – I’m now medically cleared to compete in professional mixed martial arts,? an excited St-Pierre exclaimed. ?Big thanks to all my fans for the amazing support during those nine long months of rehab – couldn’t have done it without you.?
St-Pierre also gave credit to his training partners, management, and the doctors who helped him get back to 100%.
?I’ve been lucky to work with such professional and kind people and I’ve learned a lot from them. It’s been an incredible experience,? wrote St-Pierre. ?Rendez-vous le 17 Novembre, UFC 154, Montreal!!!?
GSP hasn?t fought since a win over Jake Shields in April of last year, his ninth straight instance of success inside the Octagon.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFCTweet
Yippie!! Look what just arrived! Thank you @suckerpunchent for hooking up the new @alienware monster!
Wednesday, 29 August 2012
– It has been reported that from August 27th through September 5th, World champion Randy Orton wrestled every day except for one that was used for ...
UFC 152's revamped lineup is set for its September 22 fight card. The lineup will be headlined by a pair of title fights as UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will take on Vitor Belfort and the inaugural flyweight crown will be on the line as Demetrious Johnson takes on Joe Benavidez. The bill will take place live from the Air Canada Centre.
1: Bones is gone after his first loss, Dana is so Hot to fire that guy it's insane. Every fight for Bones from this day...
(Reuters) - Apple Inc.(AAPL.O) scored a sweeping legal victory over Samsung(005930.KS) on Friday as a...
Fight Day is back this Saturday, live from UFC 150 in Denver, Colorado. Host Dave Farra will guide you through the entire night's action with expert analysis from industry veterans John Morgan of MMA Junkie, Brett Okamoto of ESPN, and Mike Straka of Tapout Radio. Fight Day's Maggie Krol takes you behind the scenes for interviews with all the fighters on the main card. UFC 150 is headlined by a UFC lightweight title fight between champion Ben Henderson and former champion Frankie Edgar. The co-main event of the night is sure to produce fireworks as power strikers Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard lock horns. Don't miss Fight Day at 6 p.m. ET/ 3 p.m. PT.
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
When they first met, they went the distance and the judges gave it to Benson Henderson.� But this time, when former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar and reigning champ Henderson scrapped, it seemed just a little more clear-cut, and it appeared as if "The Answer" had done enough in their five rounds of hard-fought conflict to reclaim that precious belt that was once his.� But the judges ? in their infinite wisdom, or lack thereof ? disagreed.� That's the story of UFC 150's main event.� More after the jump.
- The youngest man on the UFC's roster also just happens to possess a wicked body shot, as TUF veteran Justin Lawrence found out much to his dismay.� In the bout between 20-year-old striker Max Holloway and 22-year-old striker Lawrence, there was zero grappling on the ground and tons of lightning-quick exchanges on the feet, with both fighters dinging each other up throughout all of the first and most of the second round.� But Holloway was relentless in his pressure, and when he softened Lawrence up with a knee to the body, then followed it up with a pair of hooks to the ribs, Lawrence folded in pain against the cage.� The ensuing storm of punches had referee Josh Rosenthal stepping in and making the TKO official at 4:49 of Round 2.
- Buddy Roberts established early on that standing and trading with him would be a very dangerous prospect ? established with hard jabs, crosses and kicks that clearly hurt ? so former middleweight contender Yushin Okami made every effort to make this match a ground war.� And he was successful, pulling Roberts down and punishing him with punches from back-mount at the end of the first round, and doing the same early on in the second.� The American had no answer for the predicament Okami put him in, and the referee was forced to end it at 3:05 of the round, giving the Japanese fighter the win via TKO.
- For some odd reason, Ed Herman felt that his best chance at beating Jake Shields was to pretend the walls of the Octagon were a giant cheese grater and the former Strikeforce champ was a piece of cheese.� That was the uneventful story of Round 1, and Shields avoided being the cheese in Round 2 by taking the TUF runner-up down and trying to methodically jiu-jitsu him to death.� The third round was pretty much the same as the second, and though it was the furthest thing from an exciting, crowd-pleasing battle, for Shields, it got the job done.� He took the unanimous decision (29-29, 30-27, 30-27) when time ran out.
- It was quick, but damn was it fun.� In the lightweight co-main event between former teammates Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard, Cerrone came out full of confidence and walked into a left hook that had him stumbling and in grave danger of going to sleep.� But even though Guillard pursued him and tried to land the coup de grace, Cerrone recovered ? at least, well enough to clip the "Young Assassin" with a high-kick and finish him with a devastating right.� Guillard was out cold at 1:16 of the first round, and while it lasted, this one was a thriller.
- Whenever Henderson and Edgar fight, they're destined to go five rounds.� No ifs, ands or buts about it.� That's simply what they'll do.� Round 1 saw the former champ eating low-kicks to the calf that had him stumbling and falling, and though he scored a takedown in the late seconds of the frame, Edgar was caught in a tight guillotine.� He survived, and in Round 2, he dropped Henderson with a right and threatened with a guillotine of his own while sprawling away from the champ's takedown attempt.� With Henderson and Edgar picking and choosing their shots and neither really hurting the other, the third was extremely tough to score, but "The Answer" made it a little easier in the fourth by landing a takedown.� If we've learned anything from watching these two fight for so many rounds, it's that they'll never make it easy for the judges, and Round 5 was true to form, as both pecked at each other and neither took the definitive lead.� However, when it came to scoring, his unerring right hand seemed to be at least racking up points, it did seem like Edgar took the round� The end result?� A split decision (46-49, 48-47, 48-47) in favor of Henderson, who retained his belt but was showered by boos from a crowd that thought Edgar had deserved the "W."