11.29.2007 - 2:06:00 PM -
TUF 6 Finale: Ben Saunders vs Dan Barrera
Adam Morgan at Five Ounces of Pain got the scoop that Ben Saunders (4-0-2, 0-0 UFC) will fight Dan Barrera (0-0, 0-0 UFC) in a rematch of one of the better fights on TUF this season at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale.
Five Ounces of Pain has learned from well-placed sources that Ben Saunders and Dan Barrera are scheduled to rematch at the The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale next weekend in Las Vegas, NV and that the fight has a very good chance of being televised on the live broadcast.
- 1:53:00 PM -
UFC 81: David Heath vs. Andre Gusmao
MMA Weekly posted in their rumors section that Andrew Gusmao (5-0, 0-0 UFC) is set to make his octagon debut against David Heath (7-2, 2-2 UFC) at UFC 82. With these rumors surfacing one could only wonder why the IFL hadn't tied him up with his impressive wins this year.
Sam Caplan used his connections within the IFL and found out that IFL has a contract option with Gusmao that they will be excercising in 2008.
ProElite.com has learned that those reports are incorrect, as the IFL has a contract option to retain Gusmao for the 2008 season and will be exercising that option.
The UFC had been in discussions with someone falsely claiming to be representing Gusmao and misrepresenting information during the faux negotiations. According to the source, the UFC was contacted by the IFL soon after hearing the reports of Gusmao's departure.
The UFC, which had never extended a formal offer and never made an official announcement, ceased all negotiations with Gusmao after being contacted by the IFL.
- 1:49:00 PM -
UFC 82: Jorge Gurgel vs John Halverson
MMA Junkie got the scoop that Jorge Gurgel (11-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) would return action against John Halverson (16-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC 82 in Columbus, Ohio. To wit:
UFC lightweight Jorge Gurgel (11-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC), who runs a mixed-martial-arts training center just north of Cincinnati, and John Halverson (16-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) have agreed to a bout that will take place at a UFC 82 event in Columbus, Ohio. The show is set for March 1 at Nationwide Arena.
A source close to Halverson alerted MMAjunkie.com of the fight earlier this morning. Gurgel's camp could not immediately be reached for comment.
MMA Junkie got word of 2 fights that look to round out Ultimate Fight Night 12 card in January. The Junkie announced that Gray Maynard (3-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will fight Matt Grice (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and then confirmed that Corey Hill (1-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) would be making his octagon debut against Joe Veres (4-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC). These 2 bouts cap off the Ultimate Fight Night card that looks to be quite an exciting card.
Here's the fight card info:
Date: Jan. 23, 2008 Location: Hollywood, FL Venue: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Broadcast: Spike TV
11.25.2007 - 4:11:00 PM -
Kenny Florian to fight in February or March
Kenny Florian (7-3, 6-2 UFC) is likely to return to the octagon in February or March according to an interview he did with Sam Caplan at CBSSports.com.
Q: Do you know when you'll be fighting next?
KF: Probably February or March. Based on what happens in the next two weeks, we've got some lightweight matches. Hopefully it will be a tough, top guy.
The interview didn't have any info on who a possible opponent may be but when asked about fighting the winner of Clay Guida and Roger Huerta he seemed to be all for it. That could very well set up a #1 contender's match for the winner of Sherk vs. Penn/Stevenson depending on how things unfold with Sherk over the next few months.
- 3:51:00 PM -
UFC 81: Alan Belcher vs Ricardo Almeida
MMA Weekly is reporting that Alan Belcher (11-3, 3-2 UFC) will fight Ricardo Almeida (8-2, 1-2 UFC) at UFC 81 in February.
Alan Belcher is coming off a recent TKO stoppage over Kalib Starnes (8-2, 2-2 UFC) at UFC 77 due to a huge cut he opened on Starnes' head with an elbow. Ricardo Almeida is a Renzo Gracie trained fighter that recently signed with the UFC. He is the former King of Pancrase and has fought in PRIDE and at UFC 31, 33, and 35.
11.24.2007 - 5:00:00 PM -
Thiago Alves or Jon Fitch could replace Serra at UFC 79
According to Dave MeltzerJon Fitch and Thiago Alves are likely candidates to replace Matt Serra in a fight with Matt Hughes at UFC 79: Nemesis.
According to a UFC official, if Serra is out for a long period of time and Hughes agrees to fight on Dec. 29, the two most likely candidates to for an opponent would be Jon Fitch or Thiago Alves. Josh Koscheck and Diego Sanchez are both coming off losses, and Sanchez has talked about cutting to 155.
MMA Mania got word that Fitch won't be available to fight at UFC 79.
MMAmania.com can confirm that Fitch is not available to fight that weekend. In fact, he told us today, "I'm not even going to be in the country. I'll be in Vietnam tending to some personal matters."
I highly doubt that we'll see Thiago Alves fight again so soon after fighting what would be a little over a month ago. He last fought a week ago today at UFC 78. Everything really depends on how long Matt Serra's going to be out for. It doesn't make sense for Matt Hughes to take another fight if Serra would be ready in February/March. But if its going to be another few months then they'll have to decide on what to do with the title.
The welterweight title has been in limbo since April at UFC 69. They really can't shelf the belt any longer with the heavyweight title being in limbo with the randy couture situation and the lightweight title with the Sean Sherk steroid appeal. Anderson Silva last defended his title at UFC 77 just a month and his next fight will be against Dan Henderson at UFC 82. Rampage hurt his hand in the fight against Dan Henderson and I've heard that he will be out for a little bit. The point I'm trying to make is that it is very well possible that we'll see quite a few PPV's like UFC 76 and UFC 78 without title fights.
- 4:35:00 PM -
Rob McCullogh vs Jamie Varner for WEC Lightweight title in February
MMA Weekly is reporting that Rob McCullough will defend the WEC lightweight title against Jamie Varner in February. Here's a blurb from the article where McCullough gives his thoughts on his opponent:
"I think it's going to be an interesting fight," McCullough told MMAWeekly.com. "He definitely has the skills to negate my skills, and therefore so do I. I think it's going to be a great fight for the first couple of rounds, and then hopefully he's packed a sleeping bag."
McCullough just returned from the Baja 1000, an off-road racing event that spans the Baja California Peninsula. He had expected to fight Alex Karalexis in November, but was unconcerned when his opponent was changed to Varner.
"I think he's a younger version of Rich (Crunkilton)," McCullough continued. "I don't think his submission game is anywhere near Rich's, but he's definitely got a quick shot, and he changes levels fast. I think his gas tank is going to be questionable."
Welterweight contender Josh Koscheck (9-2) will return to action at UFC 82 at the Nationwide Arena on March 1, joining American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) teammate Jon Fitch on the Columbus, Ohio, fight card.
Opponents have been discussed to face the former NCAA Division I wrestling champion, but no bout agreements have been signed at this time.
Anothering interesting note to come out of the article is that this is the final fight on the original 10-fight contract that Koscheck signed as a member of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) back in 2005. All such contracts expire in April 2008.
MMAmania.com just learned that lightweight grapplers Kurt Pellegrino (10-3) and Alberto Crane (8-1) will go at it on January 23 at UFC Fight Night 12. It's a showdown that pits two of the top jiu-jitsu fighters in the division against one another.
11.20.2007 - 11:45:00 PM -
UFC 82: Jon Fitch vs Akihiro Gono
MMA Mania got word that Jon Fitch has been contacted about fighting Akihiro Gono at UFC 82. Here's what they had to say:
MMAmania.com learned earlier this morning that welterweight contender Jon Fitch (15-2) has been approached about fighting Akihiro Gono (27-12-7) at UFC 82 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on March 1.
Fitch will fight on the card; however, Gono is not a lock to be his opponent at this time. Our sources indicate that the Fitch camp is working hard to line up a showdown with Karo Parisyan instead. That fight makes the most sense in terms of clearing up the 170-pound log jam.
Yesterday Greg Savage broke bad and announced that Hong Man Choi could fight Fedor on New Years Eve in Japan on his radio show at Sherdog.com.
M-1 Global CEO Monte Cox said the organization couldn't work out a deal, but late last week, the Russian M-1 website (which is different from the official M-1 Global website) briefly posted a message saying Emelianenko was booked for a show on new years eve.
After talking to several sources today, I can tell you that all the talk is true. In fact, an official announcement that Fedor will be fighting on New Year's Eve could be made within the next 24-48 hours. However, it won't be M-1 Global that will be making that announcement.
Some of the people responsible for putting on PRIDE shows in Japan were already planning on doing a show on 12/31 and they've made a deal to essentially "rent" Fedor. This is the promotion that would be making the announcement.
M-1 Global will hold its press-conference on November, 21 which will be dedicated to the first event of the organization.
The event is scheduled to take place on New Year's Eve at the Saitama Super Arena. Mixfight M-1 will be represented by Vadim Finkelstein and Fedor Emelianenko.
www.mixfight.ru cought up with Fedor before his departure and asked him to comment on this situation with the fight on the Japanese soil that became kind of home to Fedor.
Among other questions Fedor was asked this: "You will fight again in Japan but do you feel sorry it won't be under the Pride banner anymore?"
Fedor said: "Pride was a great organization with the best fighters and I believe that now M-1 Global will become new Pride".
Other Russian athletes scheduled for this event are Alexander Emelianenko and Roman Zentsov.
The name of Fedor's opponent will be announced later.
So according to that the promotion that is going to be renting Fedor is M-1 Global. And really what the fuck did Sibling entertainment acquire when the bought M-1 and made it M-1 Global. It seems as though Vadim Finkelstein is running around making rogue deals and not letting M-1 Global know about it. And really what the fuck is the difference between M-1 Global and M-1 Mixfight. I'm more confused now than ever before.
- 1:10:00 AM -
UFN 12: Cole Miller vs Jeremy Stephens
MMA Junkie got word today that we could possibly see Cole Miller take on Jeremy Stephens at Ultimate Fight Night 12. No venue has been announced so it was said that the contracts weren't signed at this time.
11.18.2007 - 4:52:00 PM -
UFC 82: Dan Henderson vs Anderson Silva
At the post UFC 78 press conference it was announced that former pride 205 lb. and 183 lb champion Dan Henderson will face Anderson Silva at UFC 82. UFC 82 is set for March 1st at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
There has been a lot of talk of Dan Henderson dropping to 185 after Anderson Silva's dismantling of Rich Franklin at UFC 77. Henderson has said he didn't want to drop to 185 when he can beat people at 205. He also stated that he wanted to stay at 205 because thats where the big money fights are. Henderson only had one fight left on his contract after the fight with Rampage. I would assume if this bout were to take place that they have come to some sort of terms on an extension. This could very possibly be another reason as to why they signed Sokoudjou.
MMA Junkie got the dish that Nate Marquardt has a new contract in hand and could possibly fight Thales Leites at UFC 81. Here's the scoop:
With a new contract in hand, Nate Marquardt (25-7-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) will return from July's loss to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva to take on Thales Leites (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC). The middleweight bout will be part of Feb. 2's UFC 81 event, which takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
A representative from Marquardt's camp notified MMAjunkie.com of the fight early this morning.
Additionally, MMAjunkie.com was told that Marquardt and the UFC are finalizing a new, four-fight contract that will go into effect for UFC 81. The new contract will replace Marquardt's old deal, which has one fight left on it.
Contracts will be signed in the next day or two, we're told.
Today's been a busy day regarding Sokoudjou. HACNews.com kicked it off with an interview with the african assassin. It's your pretty standard interview but you know something was up whenever he let the cat out of the bag on this one:
LC- Before I let you go are there any sponsors you want to mention, any websites or anything else to plug, and anything you want to say to your fans anxiously awaiting your return to the ring?
RS- I would like to thank Light Force for all the support. Also fans can reach me at www.africanassassin.com or on myspace at www.myspace.com/african_assassin. And I'll be back not in the ring but in the cage DEC 29th in Vegas!
The only event that I know of that is going down December 29th in Vegas is UFC 79: Nemesis. Apparently it has been rumored that he would fight Lyoto Machida. Now wouldn't that be one hell of an addition to the fight card.
MMA Mania dug a little deeper and came out with this:
Not the case, according to Team Quest officials in Murrieta, Calif. However, the bout is "in the works."
According to our reliable source, no bout agreements have been signed despite indications that both sides are very close to hammering out a deal. "These things fall through all the time," he warns.
It's important to note that at press time Sokoudjou hasn't even been signed to a UFC contract.
He has made a decision, however, to fight for the UFC. Other offers from EliteXC and K-1 were "flaky." In addition, the Team Quest management team feels that his best long-term interests will be served fighting in the United States.
Dave Meltzer also had this to say about the Sokoudjou rumors:
Regarding rumors of Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou fighting in UFC, there is no contract signed, but his deal with Hero's did fall apart and UFC is interested in him and talks have begun. There are talks of a potential fight with Lyoto Machida on 12/29, but it's nothing more than talk at ths point.
11.07.2007 - 9:50:00 PM -
Nate Marquardt could return at UFC 81
MMA Junkie got in touch with Nate Marquardt's camp today and learned that the middleweight fighter could possibly return to the octagon at UFC 81. I reported yesterday that Nate only had one fight left on his contract and that his trainer said they haven't been contacted by the UFC. MMA Junkie reported the same earlier but was then contacted by someone at Marquardt's camp. Here's what they had to say:
a representative from Marquardt's camp called us this afternoon and said that the lines of communication are, in fact, open and that a new deal is already in the works.
Optimistic that a new contract will be signed soon, Marquardt now expects to return at UFC 81, though a possible opponent is not yet known. The event takes place Feb. 2 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Recent UFC signee Brock Lesnar and former heavyweight champ Frank Mir have already been booked for the event.
11.06.2007 - 10:29:00 PM -
UFC 80: Per Eklund vs Sam Stout
Sherdog.com got word that Per Eklund will make his UFC debut against Sam Stout at UFC 80: Rapid Fire in Newcastle, England on January 19th.
Sam Stout's fight with Spencer Fisher this year could arguably be a Fight of the Year candidate. I haven't seen much of Per Eklund but here's a preview of the article that gives you a little bit of info about the debuting fighter:
A native of Stockholm, Eklund turns 27 next Monday. He is widely regarded as the No. 1 fighter at 155 pounds in Europe.
Undefeated in 2007, Eklund successfully captured and defended the lightweight title of British promotion Strike and Submit, outpointed Shooto amateur Nordic champion Toni Talvitie and made an impressive North American debut over ATT's Rafael Dias at BodogFIGHT's Vancouver tapings in August.
Eklund (12-2-1) also has a victory over PRIDE veteran David Baron and a pair of four-man tournament wins in Denmark and Finland. In his most memorable battle so far, the jiu-jitsu expert, who is also a professional boxer, was stopped by former Shooto welterweight champion Tatsuya Kawajiri in October 2006.
The Fight Network is reporting that Tyson Griffin will fight Gleison Tibau at UFC 81 on Super Bowl weekend. The Fight Network confirmed this today with Xtreme Couture representatives.
Tyson Griffin has been in some of the best fights of the year. His fights with Frankie Edgar and Clay Guida stand out but whenever he fights you know it's going to be one hell of a fight. Gleison Tibau came into the UFC at 170 lbs but was outclasses by Nick Diaz in his final bout with the UFC at UFC 65. He has since dropped down to 155 and picked up 3 wins in the octagon. It should be a good test for Griffin as he'll be the smaller of the two men in the octagon that night. Either way it should be a good fight.
11.05.2007 - 1:56:00 AM -
UFC 79 Rumor: Manny Gamburyan vs Nate Mohr
UFC Daily is reporting that Manny Gamburyan will fight Nate Mohr at UFC 79: Nemesis. Here's what they're reporting:
Rumors are swirling that Manny Gamburyan, the runner-up on The Ultimate Fighter 5, will return to the UFC in December at UFC 79 to take on Nate Mohr in a lightweight bout. It is unknown if agreements for the fight have been signed.
I don't know where the rumors are swirling around at but I haven't heard/seen this on any other site out there. Even UFC Daily says that its unknown if the contracts have been signed so announcing this may be a little premature. Regardless, it would be good to see Manvel the Anvil get back in action after the shoulder injury.
11.04.2007 - 3:21:00 PM -
Strikeforce Tournament Series Fight Card
Date: November 16th, 2007 Location: San Jose, California Venue: HP Pavilion Broadcast: N/A
Strikeforce Tournament Series rumored fight card:
Paul Buentello vs. Alistair Overeem - Heavyweight Championship (265 lbs. and under)
Cung Le vs. Sammy Morgan
Joe Riggs vs. TBA
Bobby Southworth vs. TBA
Luke Stewart vs. TBA
The CSAC has approved the first four man middleweight tournament in the states history. The alternate bout has been announced by MMA Junkie. None of the other bouts have been announced but here are the participants:
- 12:52:00 AM -
UFC 80: Kendall Grove vs Jorge Rivera
Kendall Grove will make his return to the octagon at UFC 80 on January 19th in Newcastle, England. He will fight Jorge Rivera according to the Xtreme Couture blog. Here's the skinny:
Contracts haven't been signed yet, but we're told Kendall Grove's next opponent will be "The Conquistador" Jorge Rivera. The fight is being planned as part of UFC 80 in Newcastle, England. Jorge recently won 2 fights in England's Cage Rage promotion and has been building his name across the pond.
- 12:17:00 AM -
UFC 80: BJ Penn vs Joe Stevenson for interim lightweight title
BJ Penn will fight Joe Stevenson at UFC 80 in January according to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports. Kevin Iole basically has Dana White's dick in his mouth daily so word of rumored matches from his mouth is damn near the same thing as coming from UFC.com.
Sherk won't be stripped of his title either because Dana is fed up with the way the CSAC has handled his appeal hearings. I would assume that his suspension will be reduced as was Phil Baroni's. There's seriously something wrong with the CSAC. How can you (IE: Your independent testing company) find Baroni's test to be positive and have his agent (another independent testing company) test the same fucking example and it show up negative. That just doesn't make sense.
Dana White has said that he would strip Sherk of the title if his steroid suspension was upheld. Iole had this quote from Dana on why he decided not to:
"The way this whole thing has been handled has been a mess," White said.
Kevin also confirmed another rumored match stating that Gabriel Gonzaga would take on Fabricio Werdum in the co-main event.
"It appears that Dan Henderson may very well be fighting on the UFC 79 Nemesis December 29th card. While on a trip to Vegas this weekend, Bubba the Love Sponge mentioned on his Satellite Radio program today that he ran into Henderson. He stated that Dan mentioned in conversation that he thought he would be fighting in December. Bubba went on to say that Dan would not say who he would be fighting, but did mention that he may be fighting at 185 lbs."
The Bubba the Love Sponge Show can be heard every Monday through Thursday from 3-7 p.m. ET and on Friday from 6-10 a.m. ET on Sirius Channel 101.
- 10:36:00 AM -
UFC 80 Rumor: Fabricio Werdum vs Gabriel Gonzaga
GracieMag.com is reporting that Gabriel Gonzaga will return to action against Fabricio Werdum at UFC 80 in Newcastle, England.
"The Carioca Gabriel "Napao" GOnzaga finally shall have a chance to avenge his knockout loss to Fabricio Werdum in Jungle Fight 1, in September, 2003. Marco Alvan, leader of Team Link confirmed today exclusively to GRACIEMAG.com that the battle between the black belts will take place in January, at UFC 80, in Newcastle, England."
Its good to see Big Nose coming back after the loss to Randy Couture. Gabriel Gonzaga is definately the future of the Heavyweight division. I think he takes anyone else in the division except for Randy and I would bet he would give Fedor one of the best fights he's had so far. He seems to be a lot like Big Nog to me but bigger, stronger, and more powerful. His BJJ is world class, as is Werdum's but I think Gonzaga has a better all around game.
10.26.2007 - 2:50:00 PM -
Fedor vs Jeff Monson in M-1 Global?
Sherdog.com is reporting that negotiations between Jeff Monson and M-1 global are on going for a possibly match up with perennial heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko.
"The "Snowman" Jeff Monson, full of praise during an interview with roguemag.com, cited the "very good possibility of fighting the Russian" and also said he is "in the process of working through things with M-1.""
While Jeff Monson isn't Josh Barnett or another top 10 HW for that matter it will be good for Fedor to finally get back in the ring after about a years absence. Ultimately Fedor will take this but Jeff Monson has a good ground game, at least from the top anyway. Fedor's ground game is just slick and when he gets hold a limb its pretty much over. Fedor definitely has the better hands of the two but i think Monson is willing to absorb enough punishment to get inside and try to take him down. If Monson ends up on top I bet we'll see Fedor pull off a quick arm bar.