A very happy Wanderlei Silva - you can tell by the pink shirt! - talks to Fighters Only about his win over Mike Bisping at UFC 110. He also says he is up for a rematch with the British middleweight at some point in the future.
Chael Sonnen appeared on ESPN's MMA Live this week and talked UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. Sonnen talks Silvas style versus his and thinks that the champ is avoiding him due to his strong wrestling base:
"I'm a lot better; I was awfully sore after that match. I was sore for a long time. I had a number of stitches. I finally have those out and seem to be healing pretty good. I got back into practice this week."
"For me, anything can change. The landscape changes all the time. But currently if we were to ask Dana White what's going to happen, I'm going to take on the winner of Anderson and Maia. So I'm on standby."
"Ideally how long could I get? I'd love to see three months which I anticipate it will be closer to five. If I had to get in there, you know you get that call; I'd get on the plane and go do it as soon as Abu Dhabi. But that certainty wouldn't be ideal for me from a selfish standpoint. It will be nice to sit back and watch those guys compete and then have some time to prepare."
"Well geez a few things. [Anderson] He is a tough puzzle to solve. You hit it on the head, nobody has come close. He's never fought a wrestler and I don't just mean he's never beat a wrestler, he's never fought one. Not in the small shows, not in the big shows. Not ever has he locked up with a wrestler. I've been challenging with the guy for three and a half years, I've stuck my finger in this guys chest and he's fought everybody in the world that isn't named Chael Sonnen."
"So there’s something that he sees in my style that he's just flat just staying away from. …He has looked good but it's not hard to look good against some of those guys that he's competing with. So you know I'm not here to put these guys down but from my stand point it's a different style than he's ever faced. People tell me how dangerous he is on his feet; he's not going to be on his feet against me."
If anyone was wondering why the Brock Lesnar camp hasn't responded to Frank Mirs recent comments about killing him inside wonder no more because they now have:
"Frank Mir wants murder? The beast is now even angrier than last time. It's okay, Frankie ‘The Stalker’ Mir could use another beatdown. Except this time, it will be more vicious. The Champion hopes Frank Mir makes it past Shane Carwin. Frank may never be able to fight again after the third fight is over. Expect the unexpected Mr. Submission Man, you may leave without an arm."
UFC President Dana White tells Yahoo Japan that if Takanori Gomi can get past Kenny Florian at UFC Fight Night 21 and BJ Penn defends against Frankie Edgar at UFC 112, than the two may meet up in the Octagon down the line:
"Kenny Florian is one of the top lightweight fighters. If Gomi beats Kenny, that's going to get a lot of attention from many people - including BJ Penn.
"But BJ has a fight with Frankie Edgar in Abu Dhabi on 4/12 and Gomi still needs to fight Kenny. So until that happens we can't make a decision. But I'll tell you, if Gomi beats Kenny, I definitely will consider a match with BJ."
Now, although this is an intriguing rematch from a bout from yesteryear for hardcore fans, it may not have the same appeal to the casual fan that the UFC is banking on. Gomi has slipped down hill since his days on top of Pride and BJ Penn has just seemed to get better and better. When they first fought almost seven years ago at Rumble on the Rock 4, Gomi didn't have much to offer Penn on his way to a decision loss then and these days, with the way Penn looks at 155lbs, won't have much to offer today.
This is all also assuming Gomi can beat Florian, which considering Gomi's past performances, doesn't seem likely. But hey, this is MMA and Gomi has the knockout power and explosiveness in him to KO Florian on his way to Penn, but it'd be surprising.
Marcin Held found the beginning of his promising mixed-martial-arts career on a billboard.
The then-9-year-old Held was searching for something new to try, and he spotted the advertisement for a gym in his Polish city of Tychy. He wandered in to check out the facility.
"It was (an) accident," Held told in his improving English this week. "The club is one of the best in jiu jitsu in Poland."
And Held took to it quickly. Now, at 18, the 155-pounder already has an 8-0 start to his professional career after compiling an undefeated amateur record.
Now, like many fighters in eastern European countries, Held wants a chance to fight in front of a wider audience. As the sport grows in popularity there – helped by a December fight involving five-time World's Strongest Man champion Mariusz Pudzianowski that, according to some, was watched by 15 percent of the country's residents – fighters such as Held are looking for their ticket to bigger organizations.
And Held, even more than some, seems to be prepared to make that jump.
"I think he's phenomenal," said manager Sandro Gelke of Arete Agency, based in Las Vegas. "He's beating these grown men who have really good records, these tough, accomplished guys. Plus, he carries himself like he's someone much older."
But Held remains a teenager who has been a professional since he was 16. In December, he won three fights in one night at an MMA Challengers event at a venue called the Szombierki Heat and Power Plant Hall in Poland.
Coming off of that success, one of the top practitioners of Brazilian jiu jitsu in Poland is hoping to branch out.
"I want to fight in other countries," Held said. "If there is an opportunity, I will fight very hard."
Growing up quickly
Held was 9 when he first found the jiu-jitsu gym, and he quickly matured in the art. It didn't take long for him to find his way into amateur fights, and he said he remains unbeaten as an amateur with a 25-0 record.
He loved the Brazilian jiu jitsu and hoped he could possibly practice it exclusively, but there were few monetary rewards, so he increased his training in other aspects of MMA and remained advanced for his age.
His professional debut came in September 2008, when he was 16.
"I was nervous some," Held said. "I had many amateur fights, so it wasn't very different. I did the same things."
Like winning. By his second pro fight, Held was matched against an opponent he respected, Artur Sowinski (now 6-2) and won by decision to increase his confidence.
At the same time, MMA in Poland continued to grow. Although not nearly as popular as in other countries, many more fans are coming to events and showing interest in the fighters, Held said.
"It is not like in (the) USA or Japan, but year to year it's growing very fast," he said.
It helped that one of the country's athletic stars, Pudzianowski, appeared on televisions at a KSW show on Dec. 11 and beat his opponent in 43 seconds with furious punching.
"All the Polish guys watched this fight," Held said.
Soon, he said, more fighters will likely end up in the country's growing gyms for training. Then, there's the question of what happens when those fighters find success, as Held is experiencing now.
He's having trouble getting out of his own country.
Looking for a fight
After reading a story on Held, Gelke went through several European contacts to find the young fighter and represent him. He found a fighter whose personality he liked immediately and whose abilities earned the same respect.
"I'm a fighter who likes fights on the ground," Held said. "I do very well at grappling, but I am also doing better at striking."
He proved his abilities at the Dec. 6 show with three wins in one night. The final two came against opponents who entered the event with undefeated records of 2-0 and 9-0. Both ended in first-round submission victories.
"Marcin has done pretty much everything he can do in Poland right now," Gelke said. "I think if we saw him get a shot at a bigger show, he would really turn into something special."
That has been the challenge for Held and Gelke. Despite assurances that his skills are legitimate and he would be willing to fight at either 155 or 145 pounds, the bigger shows have not bitten.
In the meantime, Held is splitting his time between training and education while taking a train in between so he can study during the ride. He hopes to continue making his career in MMA, but he also wants to have options just in case.
So Gelke continues to promote his young Polish star, who has yet to lose a fight as an amateur or a pro and wants his opportunity against more skilled opponents.
"I wish more U.S. promoters would get behind these foreign fighters," Gelke said. "It's really a struggle. They don't want to fool with the visas and the flights, and communication can be more difficult.
"Marcin's the perfect example of a guy who needs a chance."
All the hype this week has surrounded Frank Mir and his comments toward Brock Lesnar and what he wanted to do to him in the Octagon but what some may be forgetting is that Lesnar isn't anywhere on Mir's calender right but top contender Shane Carwin is. The two will meet at UFC 111 on March 27th and now Carwin has come forward and given his two cents on Mir:
"I can tell you that ANY athlete wishing death upon a competitor is either a terrible human being or mentally unfit to fight. That type of talk and if it ever happened will take this sport backwards. Frank has been a part of the stone ages of MMA and it makes no sense why he would want or make comments that might damage a lot of the good HE has participated in adding to this sport over the years.... Brock is a heel in the ring but at home he is a human, husband, father and friend to many. Wishing death or harm upon him doesn't serve any purpose. I will do my best to make Frank's dream of fighting Brock come true, unfortunately for them it will be a three round fight as I plan on winning both of those belts."
Although the venue and date for the card are still being kept quiet, Jake Shields tells MMAWeekly.com that he is set to defend the Strikeforce Middleweight title against Dan Henderson in April:
"It's a go now. We finally worked it out a few days ago. It's a done deal, it's been agreed upon by both parties as far as I know, and I think it's set to go. I have a date (and) venue, but they told me to hold that back. Hopefully CBS. I think it's CBS. There's a slight possibility of Showtime because they're still (working it out). I don't know the rest of the card or any of that yet. But me and Dan's on, and I'm hoping it's on CBS."
While the New South Wales Combat Sports Authority (the commission in charge of regulating this past weekend's UFC 110 event) has yet to release an official list of medical suspensions from the UFC's first trip to Australia, we have confirmed the status of one high-profile competitor.
According to Marc Ratner, the UFC's Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, newly minted middleweight Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) will be free to return to action after a mere 30-day suspension.
The news clears the way for a recently reported potential fight between "The Axe Murderer" and Japanese middleweight star Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC 115 in June.
Although not yet officially announced, UFC 115 is expected to take place June 12 at GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Akiyama had been slated to face Silva at the UFC 110 card before the promotion elected to pull him in favor of Bisping. Akiyama told prior to the Australian event that he was expecting to face the winner.
At the UFC 110 post-event press conference, UFC president alluded to the potential matchup.
"Akiyama wants to fight Wanderlei very bad," White said. "It's a big fight that he wants. We offered him another fight, and he said he wants Wanderlei."
At the time, White wasn't sure if Silva would be healed in time for the matchup.
"Wanderlei is sitting here with stitches in his chin and a black eye and everything else," White said. "He's going to go home, relax, heal, and then we'll talk to Wanderlei and see when he's ready again. But yeah, Akiyama wants that fight really bad."
If Silva isn't ready to go, it won't be due to medical suspension.
The 30-day ruling also carries with it a 21-day order to refrain from contact in training. However, Silva would still have nearly three full months to prepare for a proposed UFC 115 bout with Akiyama.
The upstart Shine Fight Promotions today officially announced its long-rumored third event.
Featuring a main event between nine-time UFC veteran Din Thomas (25-8) and former boxing world champion Ricardo Mayorga (0-0 MMA, 28-7-1 boxing), "Worlds Collide: Mayorga vs. Thomas" takes place May 15 at Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C.
The evening's main card, which has yet to be fully announced, airs live on pay-per-view for a price of $29.95.
While Thomas, an American Top Team product, is undoubtedly the better-known commodity to mixed martial arts fans, the controversial Mayorga brings a legendary boxing history to the contest.
Of course, the Nicaraguan fights for the first time in a n MMA contest. Nevertheless, he isn't shying away from a little trash talk.
"I conquered the world in the boxing ring, (and) all the while I was puffing cigarettes and drinking beer," Mayorga stated in today's release. "I won three world-title belts, and I stood toe-to-toe with so many legends, beating some of them. Vernon Forrest, God rest his soul, was a great boxer, yet I beat him back twice.
"I cannot be denied as I am a force of nature. Now I will shock the MMA fans, and I know so many of my fans from boxing will follow me as I expand my repertoire. They can't deny me in MMA, and I will destroy Din Thomas. I am going to smash him the way I smashed all the big superstars of boxing. To me a fight is a fight in a ring, in a cage or on the street. Fighting is my middle name."
Thomas, who has openly campaigned for a fight with Mayorga since the boxer first announced his intentions to enter the world of MMA, isn't too concerned with the skills of his 36-year-old opponent.
"I respect what Ricardo has done in boxing," Thomas stated. "He fooled many opponents with that smoking and drinking shtick, but he won't fool me. I train night and day, and I know he works hard also, but I will send him back to boxing – crawling back to boxing.
"He is about to get a violent education about the skills he needs for MMA, and they are skills that an old dog like Mayorga cannot learn. I will be taking this cat to school. Trust me."
Shine Fights CEO Devin Price said he envisions the match as a crossover moment for fans of both boxing and MMA.
"In my opinion, boxing and MMA are not in some knockdown, dragout war," Price stated. "It's not all one and none of the other. The sports have so much in common, especially when it comes to the courage and fighting heart of the athletes. There is room in the marketplace for both boxing and MMA, and seeing a big boxing name like Mayorga cross over without abandoning boxing is proof of this.
"It's all about an open mind because fans of one sport can learn to love the other. I really feel this. All that boxing vs. MMA nonsense is ancient history."
Tickets for "Worlds Collide: Mayorga vs. Thomas" soon will be available on Ticketmaster.com. Further event details are expected to be released in the coming week.
The pay-per-view broadcast will be available on cable and satellite systems throughout the U.S. and Canada. The event will be distributed via high-definition feed and will offer both English and Spanish versions of the commentary.
Jason "Mayhem" Miller's popular MTV reality series, "Bully Beatdown," will return for a third season later this year.
While details about the third season are scarce, the source said Miller returns as the show's host and that the pro-fighter-vs.-bully format will remain largely the same.
During each 30-minute episode of the show, which debuted in March 2009, a bully victim contacts Miller, a professional MMA fighter currently under contract to Strikeforce, for help. An MMA fighter then competes against the bully, who receives cash prizes (up to $10,000) for surviving a round of grappling and a round of kickboxing with the pro.
MTV has aired 16 "Bully Beatdown" episodes over two seasons, which ran from March to April and August to October of 2009.
Fighters such as Strikeforce champion Jake Shields, Bellator champ Eddie Alvarez, Michael Westbrook, Tony Bonello, Conor Heun, Jon Murphy and Thomas Denny have taken part in the show, which has earned mixed reviews from MMA fans.
Regardless, the show, which is executive produced by reality kingpin Mark Burnett, garnered immediate attention when the series debut emerged as the No. 1 rated program in its timeslot among male viewers from 12 to 34 years of age. The ratings have remained solid in key demos.
While manager Ed Soares is heartbroken that his friend and client Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) got knocked out at this past weekend's UFC 110, he has nothing but respect for Nogueira's opponent, Cain Velasquez (8-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC).
For fans and media who lit up message boards with posts about the former PRIDE heavyweight champion's apparent career end, Soares has no love.
Velasquez turned in a huge upset in the UFC's sold-out Australian debut when he beat Nogueira to the punch in early standup exchanges. A little more than two minutes into the bout, Velasquez landed a concussive right hand that put Nogueira down and out.
UFC president Dana White said the Hispanic heavyweight is now on standby for a title shot against champion Brock Lesnar in the event that the winner of an interim heavyweight title match between Shane Carwin and Frank Mir is injured.
Soares, who manages a host of top Brazilian UFC fighters, said Nogueira was in the best shape of his life for the contest. "Big Nog" simply guessed wrong on Velasquez's game plan.
"Everyone in [Nogueira's] camp really believed that Cain was going to shoot and ground and pound from the guard," Soares said.
Soares offered none of the bluster that often comes from a losing fighter's camp in the wake of defeat and instead praised the young contender's skills and poise.
"It's a breath of fresh air to see a guy like Cain moving up the ranks," Soares said. "I see a lot of similarities in him and Nogueira as far as their work ethic and how humble they are. He's a great guy, and congratulations to him. He fought a great fight and came in with a great strategy.
While the loss was understandably disappointing for Nogueira, there was no hesitation from Soares about his fighter's next step.
"He gets back on the horse and fights some more people," Soares said. "It could happen to anybody."
Soares blasted those who said the loss meant Nogueira's career was essentially over.
"What are you talking about?" Soares asked. "Six months ago, Nogueira's back, and now he's done again?
"It's really easy to talk about these people when you're not the one putting your ass on the line and stepping into the octagon. Anybody that steps into the octagon, that can happen to."
Soares also had some harsh words for some of the critical fans who have said the loss shows Nogueira's career may now be over.
"These fans love the sport so much," Soares said. "Well, they should really analyze the things that they say, because at the end of the day, these guys are human, too. I read some of the stuff that people put on the Underground and forums, and people need to realize—whether it's Nogueira, whether it's one of our fighters or not one of our fighters—that these people are human too and they have feelings and it's not cool.
"It's easy for you to sit being your computer with a fake name and write stuff about people and say that 'he's done.' These people, for as much as they love the sport, they should be a little more compassionate about the people that go in there and put their ass on their line."
The focus should be on respect for both competitors, he said.
"Nogueira is a legend and Cain is a legend in the making," Soares said. "I'm upset that Nogueira lost, but to see Cain beat him and the respect that Cain gave him, you've gotta take your hat off to both of those guys."
Frank Mir today issued an apology following an interview in which he said he wanted rival and UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar to be "the first person that dies due to octagon-related injuries."
The comments, which were made over the weekend to WXDX-FM, caused quick condemnation from an industry still trying to win mainstream acceptance.
In today's UFC.com release, UFC president Dana White stated he is "disappointed" by Mir's comments and that "he won't be saying anything like that again."
Mir, a longtime UFC fighter and former champ, was Lesnar's first opponent after the former WWE star signed with the UFC. Lesnar battered his opponent at the February 2008 fight before Mir secured a submission for the come-from-behind win. The trash-talk was plentiful prior to their July 2009 rematch, and it continued even after Lesnar scored a lopsided TKO win.
Although Mir has never bitten his tongue when it comes to Lesnar, many understandably thought he crossed a line when wishing death upon the current title-holder.
"I would like to apologize to Brock Lesnar, his family, the UFC and UFC fans for the stupid remarks," Mir stated. "I respect Brock, all the other fighters, and the sport of mixed martial arts. I'm sorry that I stepped out of line."
White assured it won't happen again.
"Frank's been with the UFC a long time, he's a two-time heavyweight champion and a commentator for the WEC," White stated. "I think his emotions are running high right now, he has a big fight coming up next month, and he's still upset about his loss to Lesnar. He's been talked to, he regrets what he said, and he won't be saying anything like that again."
Strikeforce: Miami was a mixed martial arts event held by Strikeforce on January 30, 2010 in Sunrise, Florida at the BankAtlantic Center. The event aired live on Showtime in the US and on Super Channel in Canada.
 Main Card
* Welterweight Championship bout: United States Nick Diaz vs. Lithuania Marius Žaromskis
Diaz defeated Žaromskis via TKO (strikes) at 4:38 of round 1.
* Women's Featherweight Championship bout: Brazil Cristiane Santos vs. Netherlands Marloes Coenen
Santos defeated Coenen via TKO (strikes) at 3:40 of round 3.
* Heavyweight bout: United States Herschel Walker vs. United States Greg Nagy
Walker defeated Nagy via TKO (strikes) at 2:17 of round 3.
* Middleweight bout: Netherlands Melvin Manhoef vs. United States Robbie Lawler
* Heavyweight bout: United States Bobby Lashley vs. United States Wes Sims
Lashley defeated Sims via TKO (strikes) at 2:06 of round 1.
UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort was a mixed martial arts event held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on September 19, 2009 in Dallas at the American Airlines Center. The event was broadcasted on pay-per-view.
Preliminary card (Non-televised)
* Lightweight bout: United States Rob Emerson vs. Brazil Rafael dos Anjos
dos Anjos defeated Emerson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). This bout aired on the PPV broadcast following the Kampmann vs. Daley fight.
* Light Heavyweight bout: Belarus Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Croatia Igor Pokrajac
Matyushenko defeated Pokrajac via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
* Light Heavyweight bout: United States Eliot Marshall vs. United States Jason Brilz
Marshall defeated Brilz via split decision (28-30, 30-27, 30-27).
* Welterweight bout: United States Rick Story vs. United States Brian Foster
Story defeated Foster via submission (arm triangle choke) at 1:09 of round 2. This bout aired on the Spike broadcast following the McFedries vs. Drwal fight. This bout also aired last on the PPV broadcast following the Oliveira vs. Lentz fight.
* Lightweight bout: Brazil Rafaello Oliveira vs. United States Nik Lentz
Lentz defeated Oliveira via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27). This bout aired on the PPV broadcast following the Franklin vs. Belfort fight.
* Lightweight bout: United States Jim Miller vs. United States Steve Lopez
Miller defeated Lopez via TKO (injury) at 0:48 of round 2. This bout aired on the Spike broadcast following the Escudero vs. Miller fight.
Preliminary card (Spike TV)
* Middleweight bout: United States Drew McFedries vs. Poland Tomasz Drwal
Drwal defeated McFedries via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:03 of round 2.
* Lightweight bout: Mexico Efrain Escudero vs. United States Cole Miller
Escudero defeated Miller via KO (punch) at 3:36 of round 1.
* Catchweight (159 lb) bout: United States Tyson Griffin vs. Brazil Hermes Franca
Griffin defeated Franca via TKO (punches) at 3:26 of round 2.
* Welterweight bout: United States Josh Koscheck vs. United States Frank Trigg
Koscheck defeated Trigg via TKO (punches) at 1:25 of round 1.
* Welterweight bout: Denmark Martin Kampmann vs. England Paul Daley
Daley defeated Kampmann via TKO (punches) at 2:31 of round 1.
* Heavyweight bout: Croatia Mirko 'Cro Cop' Filipovic vs. Brazil Junior dos Santos
dos Santos defeated Filipovic via Submission (Verbal) at 2:00 of round 3.
* Catchweight (195 lb) bout: United States Rich Franklin vs. Brazil Vitor Belfort
Nathan Joel Marquardt (born April 20, 1979 in Lander, Wyoming) is an American mixed martial artist. He is a three-time Middleweight King of Pancrase Champion, and currently fights in the middleweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Background and training
Marquardt began his training in the martial arts as a teenager, studying the disciplines of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, Wing Chun, and Kenpo under instructor Alistair McNiven. Additionally, he took lessons in wrestling, and eventually began training under Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor Ricardo Murgel at age 18. Active in sports throughout high school, he contends that he did not become involved in the martial arts until he saw footage of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Although he is perhaps best known for his association with Greg Jackson's Gaidojutsu mixed martial arts team, Marquardt has also trained with Sanae Kikuta and the GRABAKA Dojo in Japan as well as American kickboxer and mixed martial artist Duane "Bang" Ludwig in Colorado.
Marquardt runs an academy, High Altitude Martial Arts, located in Aurora, Colorado.
Marquardt began his professional mixed martial arts career in 1999, amassing victories in various promotions before entering the Bas Rutten Invitational 4 tournament, which was organized in such a manner that the tournament winner was to be offered a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Despite winning the tournament, Marquardt was offered no such contract. Instead, he signed with Japan's Pancrase organization, which had fostered such fighters as Ken Shamrock and Bas Rutten. In his first Pancrase fight, Marquardt lost via submission to Genki Sudo.
Invited back to Pancrase for a middleweight elimination tournament, Marquardt defeated Daiju Takase, Kiuma Kunioku, and Shonie Carter to become the first middleweight King of Pancrase. Marquardt defended this title twice before being defeated by Kunioku in December 2001. A final encounter between the two fighters in December 2002 saw Marquardt defeat Kunioku once again to recapture the King of Pancrase championship, which he held for nearly a year.
 Almeida incident
On November 30, 2003, Marquardt was involved in a brief altercation with middleweight opponent Ricardo Almeida in a Pancrase title fight. Marquardt, who was caught in a guillotine choke, tapped out; (Some believe that the referee mistook a repositioning of Marquardt's hand to be a tap. Thus causing Marquardt to believe the fight had not been ended.) The referee, however, was unable to immediately separate the fighters, and the choke remained applied around Marquardt's neck. After he was freed, Marquardt threw a strike at Almeida's face, prompting both corners to storm into the ring – including Renzo Gracie. Renzo was cornering Almeida, and once in the ring he kicked Marquardt in the face. The confrontation eventually came to an end, and Marquardt approached Almeida after the bout to congratulate him. After Almeida vacated his title in July 2004, Marquardt proceeded to regain the championship in a victory over Kazuo Misaki at Pancrase: Brave 10.
Transition to the UFC
On May 1, 2005, Marquardt defeated Izuru Takeuchi, winning the Pancrase middleweight championship for a seventh time – the only fighter to ever accomplish such a feat. It was then announced that Marquardt would be making his debut with the UFC in August, live on Spike TV, headlining the inaugural Ultimate Fight Night card in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Although his debut ended in success – Marquardt earned a decision victory over UFC veteran Ivan Salaverry – post-fight drug testing controversy led to Marquardt's suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Marquardt tested positive for high levels of nandrolone, which led the commission to file for his suspension. Marquardt maintains that he only used over-the-counter supplements in preparation for his fight. Marquardt was initially suspended for six months and assessed no fine. Marquardt's suspension was reduced to five months and he was reinstated in January 2006.
With the drug testing controversy resolved, Marquardt was set to make his return to the UFC at UFC 58, fighting a mixed martial arts veteran in Joe Doerksen. The fight proved to be a successful endeavor for Marquardt, as he won a unanimous decision. In the post-fight interview, Marquardt stated his goals of capturing the UFC middleweight championship and his intention to fight then-champion Rich Franklin.
Marquardt then fought Crafton Wallace – a replacement for Marquardt's original opponent, Thales Leites – on the undercard of Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3: The Final Chapter on October 10, 2006, winning by rear naked choke in the second round. Due to his commitment to the UFC, Marquardt relinquished his title as the middleweight King of Pancrase that same month.
At UFC Fight Night 8, Marquardt notched a dominant three-round decision victory over ADCC champion grappler Dean Lister that saw two judges score the bout 30-25 for Marquardt.
Middleweight Title Shot
Following that victory and a 4-0 debut in the UFC, Marquardt was scheduled to compete for the UFC middleweight championship held by Anderson Silva on July 7, 2007 at UFC 73. Marquardt lost the championship bout by technical knockout due to strikes.
After early speculation that Marquardt's contract with the UFC could expire without renewal, he confirmed that a new agreement had been signed with the organization. Marquardt's next match was to be against Thales Leites at UFC 81, but Leites withdrew from the bout due to an injured hand. This marked the second time that a bout between Leites and Marquardt had been cancelled. On January 9, the UFC announced that veteran Jeremy Horn would be Leites' replacement. Marquardt defeated Horn via guillotine choke.
Marquardt finally fought Thales Leites at UFC 85–a fight that had been postponed on two separate occasions since 2006. Marquardt controlled Leites for the second and third round of the fight but landed an illegal knee strike to the head of Leites in the second round and an elbow to the back of the head in the third. The deducted points proved to be crucial in the judging as Leites was deemed victorious in a very controversial split decision, giving Leites a title shot against Anderson Silva.
Marquardt was next scheduled to face Martin Kampmann. Nate defeated Kampmann in 82 seconds by throwing a head kick and landing a barrage of strikes to take the win by TKO in the first round.
Marquardt obtained a second straight win to launch himself back into the title picture at UFC 95, when he defeated well-regarded Brazilian fighter Wilson Gouveia with another barrage of strikes to earn a third round TKO.
Marquardt's next fight was against the then undefeated submission specialist Demian Maia at UFC 102 which he won via KO 21 seconds into the first round, landing a counter straight right as Maia threw a high kick. Maia fell face down, unable to protect himself. Nate rushed in to follow up with a right hook, but stopped himself once he saw that Maia was visibly hurt.
Following his victory over Maia, Marquardt was scheduled to fight Dan Henderson to determine number 1 contendership to Silva's Middleweight Championship. However Henderson left the UFC for Strikeforce after attempts to agree on a new contract failed. A new bout was arranged between Marquardt and American wrestler Chael Sonnen, scheduled for UFC 110 and later moved to UFC 109. Despite being the favourite to win, Marquardt was taken down at will by Sonnen multiple times during each round. Although able to lock in a guillotine choke late in the 3rd round, Marquardt was not able to finish the fight and lost via unanimous decision. With the victory Sonnen became the next challenger for the Middleweight Championship after Demian Maia.
Marquardt has a wife named Tessa. Nate has a daughter named Emmalie from a previous relationship. The couple is expecting their first child together in May 2010.
osh Barnett's appeal to the California State Athletic Commission has been delayed for the fourth time and won't be heard until the commission's next meeting on April 20.
The commission delayed the appeal when Barnett, 32, failed to appear at an official commission meeting today in Los Angeles. Barnett's lawyer, Michael DiMaggio, spoke on behalf of Barnett and was denied a request to continue without the fighter.
If the CSAC was requiring his presence, he wasn't aware of it," Hooper said.
But George Dodd, the CSAC's new executive director, said Barnett was notified via letter that he was required to be at the appeal.
"The letter went out when his license was first denied," Dodd said. "When we came [to Los Angeles], we were fully expecting him to be here. We didn't know he was out of the country fighting."
This past July, Barnett was denied a license to fight Fedor Emelianenko at "Affliction: Trilogy" when he failed the first random drug test in the commission's history. Barnett tested positive for a metabolite of the synthetic steroid Drostanolone.
Shortly after the denial, Barnett claimed the test was not random and vowed to resolve the issue with the commission.
"I had no reason to believe there would be any issues and went in to submit my sample at the earliest possible opportunity on June 25," he wrote on his Myspace page. "I never once thought there would be a problem."
Affliction canceled "Trilogy" eight days before its Aug. 1, 2009 event date and subsequently folded its MMA-promotion division. Emelianenko and his management company, M-1 Global, sued the clothing company this past November for breach of contract. A trial is expected on Nov. 16 of this year.
Barnett and DiMaggio postponed appeal dates on Aug. 24 and Oct. 26 of last year after they said they didn't receive requested case information from the CSAC. A third appeal date on Dec. 8 was rescheduled when the New York-based DiMaggio was unable to make a commission meeting due to bad weather on the East Coast.
In an interview with Mauro Renallo on The Fight Show last week, Barnett said he is clear to continue his career anywhere except California and will fight as soon as the right offer is made.
"If they want me to fight, all they have to do is step up to the plate, throw me an opponent, and don't put something in front of me that's a slap in my face or ridiculous," Barnett said.
Barnett said he has spoken with Strikeforce, where Emelianenko currently resides, but did not go into specifics about negotiations.
Dodd said the commission will likely make a final ruling on Barnett's appeal during the April 20 meeting.
Barnett (24-5), a former UFC heavyweight champion who's long been ranked among the division's top 10, has not fought in MMA since this January 2009, when he defeated Gilbert Yvel via submission at "Affliction: Day of Reckoning."
Dan Hardy, who will get a shot a Georges St. Pierre and welterweight supremacy at UFC 111 in March, talks about American Kickboxing Academy standouts Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch who haven't been so kind about the chance Hardy is getting:
"[Koscheck's] just bitching because I’m in this position and he’s not. There are a lot of guys out there and I know Jon Fitch said a few things the other day as well. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion and I’m sure those guys feel like they’re in a better position than me to contend for the belt, but they don’t know me and they don’t know what experience I’ve got and the fights I’ve come through to get to this stage. They’ve all had their chances and we know how those fights ended. Koscheck got beat up, Jon Fitch got beaten up, name it and GSP’s gone through them."
Former UFC Champion Frank Mir was blunt and too the point when talking about Brock Lesnar this past week as he stated that he wants to see Brock Lesnar die in the cage and hates him as a person. Check it out:
"A lot of individuals are so worried about being politically correct. I'd rather go ahead and say what's on my mind than to sit there and come up with some PC 'Oh, the guy is a great fighter and I have a lot of respect for him.' If I don't mean it, why is it even coming out of my mouth? ... I want to fight Lesnar. I hate who he is as a person. I want to break his neck in the ring. I want him to be the first person that dies due to Octagon-related injuries. That's what's going through my mind."
"He doesn't like me and I can guarantee, you talk to anybody in my family, it's a legitimate hate," Mir said of Lesnar. "His very being bugs me just because I've seen a lot of children out there who look to athletes and martial artists as role models, and it just makes me cringe. I sit there and go, 'Man, I lost to this guy the second time around and now people think that's the way to be -- be big, obnoxious and angry.' That's not right. We have anger toward each other. Everything I stand for he despises and dislikes, and I can tell you I truly do not like him as a person whatsoever."
"Forty pounds among skilled athletes matters," Mir said. "A big guy as skilled as Lesnar, especially with his wrestling, is a whole different scenario. I don't know if I'll ever be as strong as Brock Lesnar -- he seems to have pretty good genetics in that category -- but I think I can close the gap."
Straight to the point words from Frank Mir but one has to wonder if this might be taking it too far considering the reputation the UFC and MMA in general has with the main stream audience. It also begs the question, does Mir need to get over Brock Lesnar? He has no small task in front of him at UFC 111 in Shane Carwin and overlooking him could send Mir way down the heavyweight ladder.
SYDNEY, Australia -- UFC President Dana White met with UFC Fight Club members Friday at Acer Arena prior to UFC 110 to discuss a variety of topics. Quick notes on what White said follow:
• Ben Rothwell has a stomach virus that was diagnosed as soon as he landed in Australia.
• B.J. Penn is pretty close to cleaning out the lightweight division, and White is a believer in people moving up after they have done this. Penn would need to beat a top-ranked contender before getting another shot at GSP, though.
• Frankie Edgar is the guy that White is most impressed with in the lightweight division, and that’s why he deserves the shot at Penn. White was very impressed with Edgar in his win over Sean Sherk.
• White said Nick Diaz is hard to work with and doesn't work well with athletic commissions, but he likes him.
• He’s interested in Gegard Mousasi and thinks he is one of the best in the world, but he has two contracts right now, so White will take a closer look at him when they are done.
• He’s confident that the UFC will eventually get Fedor. He said the problem with M-1 is that they are more interested in building M-1 as a promotion than building Fedor.
• White said that Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin are not going anywhere and they are like his kids. They will always fight in the UFC regardless of their records.
• Wanderlei Silva is also always going to be in the UFC no matter what happens.
• White thinks that Anderson Silva is too big for GSP. Forrest walks around at 230 pounds, and White said Anderson is about the same as Forrest. He is just too big for GSP, but there are lots of interesting matches at light heavyweight for Silva.
• He thinks that Shinya Aoki is overrated because he hasn't faced consistently tough competition like fighters do in the UFC.
• He said he’s happy for Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and thinks “The A-Team” movie will do really well. If his movie looked like the other movies that fighters have been starring in, White said he would have been mad at him. He will be back fighting soon.
• The UFC is not interested in Bobby Lashley right now.
• White respects James Toney but said he doesn’t know what the UFC could do for him.
• White likes Kimbo Slice -- he wasn't what he expected -- but White doesn't consider him a legitimate contender.
• The next three countries for the UFC are China, South Korea and India. Lorenzo Fertitta will be going overseas for the next three weeks to work on getting a TUF season in those countries.
• The UFC is working to get into Japan, but it isn't easy. White doesn’t know if the Pride brand could be resurrected.
• Brazil wasn't a target for future expansion initially, but since the country secured the Olympics, the UFC is now very interested in holding an event there.
• Given the interest that Australia has shown already in the UFC, there will be at least one show a year in Australia from now on.
• White said he laughs when people call Strikeforce “big.” He said their model doesn't work. White doesn't want them to go away, but he said they are going to fail because they are trying to be too big and are poorly organized.
• He thinks that the WWE is a totally different business model with a different fan base. White doesn't think that they are hurting each other apart from sharing PPV dates.
• White said eventually he thinks knees to the head of a grounded opponent will be legalized and he personally likes them. He said perhaps after everything is standardized and fears about the sport have passed, it will be possible.
• He said Herb Dean is the best referee in the history of the sport. The possibility of getting a helmet cam for referees is slim, but White said that if they ever did get it, Steve Mazzagatti could fit the camera inside his head because there is a lot of room in there.
• There will be no changes to any of the divisions and no new divisions, including heavyweight. Boxing has too many champs, and White doesn't want the UFC to go down the same path.
• The UFC won't do rankings. White doesn't like rankings but instead likes to put on the fights that the fans want to see.
UFC 99: The Comeback was a mixed martial arts event held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on June 13, 2009 in Cologne, Germany. It was the first UFC event held in Germany, as well as the first in mainland Europe (events have previously been held in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, the continental United States, Brazil, and Japan).
On Monday, June 1, the UFC announced that Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović would be returning to the promotion to face Mostapha Al-turk at UFC 99. It was Filipović's first fight in the UFC since his unanimous-decision loss to Cheick Kongo at UFC 75 in 2007. Since that fight, he has gone 2-0-0 with one no contest while fighting for other promotions.
An announced bout between Heath Herring and Cain Velasquez was canceled due to an illness that Herring was suffering. On May 20, 2009, Cheick Kongo was announced as the replacement.
Dana White addressed Yoshihiro Akiyama's request to him for his next UFC fight at the post-fight press conference for UFC 110 in Sydney, Australia last night.
"Akiyama wants to fight Wanderlei very bad. It's a big fight that he wants - he wants this fight."
White continued, "We offered him another fight and he said he wants Wanderlei. Wanderlei is sitting here with stitches in his chin and a black eye and everything else, so he's going to go home, relax, heal and then we'll talk to Wanderlei and see when he's ready again. But yeah, Akiyama wants that fight really bad."
With a dominating victory over what he called "probably the best heavyweight of all time," UFC president Dana White has reiterated an earlier promise and said UFC 110 main-event winner Cain Velasquez is on standby for a title shot.
If the winner of next month's UFC 111 interim-title fight between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin is injured or sidelined, Velasquez instead gets the title with champion Brock Lesnar.
"We'll see what happens with Mir and Carwin – see who wins that – and if the guys come out unscathed, they'll fight for the title," White said after UFC 110 at Acer Arena in Sydney, New South Whales, Australia. "If not, then Cain Velasquez will get that slot."
As we reported last week, Lesnar, who's been out of action since July 2009 due to a serious case of diverticulitis, could return at UFC 116, which is expected to take place July 3 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Velasquez likely would've been the title-fight standby even with a mediocre performance at the Feb. 20 UFC 110 event. However, he thoroughly dominated the former PRIDE and UFC champion, abandoned his usual wrestling skills, and instead kept the fight standing to floor Nogueira with the second part of a left-right combination.
"When I threw that right hand, it just went through him," Velasquez said. "That's all I felt. There was really no give. I just tried to follow it up with that left hook, and I saw him go down. I tried to capitalize on it. I tried not to get too anxious in there because I know he can take a lot of punishment and come back."
Velasquez quickly followed up the big blow with a ground-and-pound assault that prompted a stoppage at the 2:20 mark of the first round.
White said he's flabbergasted by the American Kickboxing Academy fighter's quick improvement from fight to fight.
"I didn't see it coming," White said. "I thought that was going to be a back-and-forth and entertaining fight, and Cain Velasquez went out and absolutely finished him and looked completely dominant and looked, in my opinion, better than he's ever looked. The kid gets better every time he fights.
And though Velasquez (8-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) now has earned knockout victories in seven of his eight pro wins, opponents usually are more concerned with his wrestling skills. However, Velasquez said that his hands won't always play such a prominent role and that he may need simply to wear down other opponents.
"I just have to fight a smart fight," he said. "Definitely, with those kind of guys – big, strong – you really have to be aware of their power. I think it's always going to be a war, and you have to really fight until the end. You've got to really tire them out, but that's easier said than done. But that's how I see me going up against them is really trying to get them tired and edge out the win at the end.
Regardless of which heavyweight get the first shot at Lesnar, White is just happy to have options, including Velasquez.
"The heavyweight division is more exciting than it's been in years," he said. "It just keeps getting better and better."
It was, perhaps, to be expected.
After native son George Sotiropoulos (12-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) turned in the fight of his life against the highly respected Joe Stevenson (31-11 MMA, 8-5 UFC) at UFC 110 in Sydney, Australia, the local media immediately wanted to know what the local boy's chances were for a shot at the title.
UFC president Dana White let the Australian media know to tap the brakes on that discussion, but he did say Sotiropoulos had definitely carved out a spot in the lightweight title picture with the one-sided unanimous decision win.
"He just beat Joe Stevenson," White said at the evening's post-event press conference. "Let him get a couple more fights before we start talking about title fights. He's in a very competitive division, and the champion in that division, (B.J. Penn), is the best he's ever been and one of the best ever in MMA history."
Despite outworking Stevenson in all aspects of the fight during their 15 minutes in the cage together, Sotiropoulos was quick to agree with his boss' assessment.
"I don't think I've earned a title shot yet, but I think I'm well on the way," Sotiropoulos said. "I'm just happy to fight whoever comes away and continue doing what I'm doing. As long as I perform well, those fights will come."
But while White was quick to slow any title talk discussion, Sotiropoulos has looked increasingly impressive in each of his five UFC wins. And while the previous four victories had all come via stoppage, the Australian now has a marquee name on his record in Stevenson.
"Everybody who knows anything about MMA knows how good Joe 'Daddy' Stevenson is, and he got dominated tonight by Sotiropoulos," White said. "[Sotiropoulos] looked unbelievable. No matter how good you are, sometimes there's other factors that play into your fight – like nerves, competing in his hometown for the first time – and he stepped up tonight. Not to sound condescending, but I'm proud of him tonight.
"He looked amazing. Big, big night for him. He's in the mix. He didn't beat Joe Stevenson; he dominated Joe Stevenson. All the judges had it 30-27. He just catapulted himself right into the mix."
And what exactly does "in the mix" entail?
"To go in there and face competition like Joe Stevenson – and do what he did to Joe Stevenson tonight – is huge and very promising for his future," White said. "If he continues at the pace he's on now, I wouldn't be surprised if you saw him in a title fight within the next year."
Sotiropoulos admitted it was difficult to hide his emotion before, during, and after the bout. Supported by nearly 18,000 people throughout his "Fight of the Night" contest with Stevenson, Sotiropoulos delivered when it mattered the most, and he's now on the radar of both UFC brass and fans alike.
"I love competing, and I love fighting," Sotiropoulos said. "I'm just happy to be in the mix."
To borrow a line from Georges St-Pierre, Michael Bisping (18-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) was not impressed by his opponent's performance at UFC 110.
Sure, the end result of the 15-minute contest saw Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) earn his first victory at 185 pounds, but at the evening's post-event press conference, Bisping said he believes he made a strong case for a victory in the judges' eyes.
"I don't know," Bisping said. "It was a close fight. Personally, I think I won rounds one and two."
With Silva securing a knockdown at the end of the third round, there's little room for debate in the final frame. But the second round was close throughout, and Bisping believes the unsuccessful guillotine choke secured by Silva in the closing seconds shouldn't have been enough for him to earn the frame.
"I mean, Wanderlei did a great job," Bisping said. "Congratulations to him. Full credit to him on winning the fight.
"Personally, apart from the guillotine – and I got dropped in the third round – but apart from the guillotine attempt off the takedown in the second round, as far as round two, I really didn't have any offense come my way. I felt I clearly won those two rounds."
The loss dropped Bisping to just 1-2 in his past three fights, and the British striker said the run has been frustrating.
"I'm a little annoyed, you know?" Bisping asked. "I don't come here to put on a good performance. I come here to win. Winning is what's important.
"I trained my ass off. My team works really hard. We don't put all this effort in to lose to a good fight or a good performance. Yes, Wanderlei is a legend, and I was very proud to be in there with him, but I'm a little disappointed right now."
Less than a year ago, Bisping had been on the cusp of a potential title shot. But following a brutal loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 100, those dreams quickly fell away. Now with another loss on his record, Bisping's status in the middleweight division is in question.
Nevertheless, "The Count" said he left the UFC 110 fight unharmed and wants to make an immediate impact with a quick return.
"I'm healthy," Bisping said. "I'm good to go. I feel like I could do another three rounds right now. ... I'd love to get a rematch with Wanderlei someday, but I want to keep fighting top guys.
"I lost tonight. I'm pissed off about that. I don't train this hard to get losses. But I want to get in there ASAP and fight another good name and get back to winning ways."
And while Bisping has quickly become a heel for many fans worldwide, the soon-to-be-31-year-old said he hopes
to prove his worth to observers in the very near future.
"I take this very seriously," Bisping said. "This is my life. I don't think anyone realizes how hard I train.
"I'll be coming back strong, believe me."
While it certainly wasn't quite vintage "Cro Cop" at UFC 110, Mirko Filipovic's second-round TKO over late-replacement Anthony Perosh (10-6 MMA, 0-3 UFC) did get the Croatian back in the win column.
At the evening's post-event press conference, Filipovic (26-7-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC) said his renewed focus on training means he's still got plenty to offer the world of mixed martial arts.
Meanwhile, UFC president Dana White said the Croatian striker will likely get a chance to prove that against his originally scheduled opponent, Ben Rothwell (30-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC), very soon.
"I can say I was satisfied with my performance," Filipovic said in a rare post-fight press conference appearance. "I didn't fight my original opponent. He canceled the fight. Perosh jumped in, and I'm grateful to him for that. He showed great courage and guts. He came to fight.
"But where I'm at in the heavyweight division, I don't know. I believe I belong in the top, so we'll see in the next fights. It depends on the next fight."
White said he hopes those answers can come in short order.
"I think what we do is we do the fight that was supposed to happen tonight," White said. "We'll make that fight happen, and obviously Mirko didn't have a rough night tonight.
"Ben isn't out because he's injured or anything. He got a stomach virus, so hopefully we can make this fight quick and put this one together soon."
While Filipovic easily handled Perosh, who took the fight on just 48 hours' notice, the bout served more as a moment of nostalgia for longtime "Cro Cop" fans than it did as any true test of talent. With Filipovic's UFC wins coming over Perosh, Mostapha Al Turk (in controversial fashion) and Eddie Sanchez, many wonder if the fighter can remain relevant in the UFC's current title picture.
The 35-year-old believes he can, and he said that his recent training adjustments will make that goal a reality.
"I changed the way I used to train," Filipovic said. "I spent four weeks in Amsterdam at Vos Gym training with a new coach, Ivan Hippolyte, a legend of Muay Thai. And this was the first time in my career I came (to the location of the fight) two weeks before (the fight) to adapt. I always underestimate so many things.
"I'm a very experienced fighter, but even in Japan I came two days before. In my last fight in the States, I came two days before. They needed to wake me up before the fight. My coach needed to put ice on my back to wake me up. So I just underestimate so many things. Of course there is fuel left in me, but you need to keep training more to keep in the game."
While Filipovic's appearances come with a hefty salary attached, White said he is happy "Cro Cop" was able to fight, even if it was against a less-than-ideal opponent.
"Ring rust is a real thing, and he got to get in there and at least work on his timing and everything else," White said. "Hopefully, we can back-to-back make this fight with Rothwell now and make it happen pretty soon – get him back in there and keep him active and busy."
So while Filipovic returned to the UFC win column after a disappointing loss to Junior Dos Santos this past September, the 24-time PRIDE veteran knows he must continue his renewed focus on training if he hopes to succeed in he UFC's talented heavyweight division.
"Young lions are definitely coming," Filipovic said. "The division is harder than ever."
After going into brief "retirement" following his stint as one of the coaches on the most successful season of The Ultimate Fighter to date (TUF 10), MMANews.com can confirm that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has finally signed his official contract to fight Rashad Evans.
The expected date for the fight is May 29th and is slated to take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The event will be UFC 114 and will feature a rumored semi-main event of Forrest Griffin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
* Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez
* Michael Bisping vs. Wanderlei Silva
* George Sotiropoulos vs. Joe Stevenson
* Ryan Bader vs. Keith Jardine
* Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic vs. Anthony Perosh
* Stephan Bonnar vs. Krzysztof Soszynski
* Brian Foster vs. Chris Lytle
* C.B. Dollaway vs. Goran Reljic
* Igor Pokrajac vs. James Te Huna
Shane Carwin talks to Thegarv.com about his upcoming match up with Frank Mir at UFC 113 and feels he has what it takes to put Frank Mir out of the heavyweight title picture:
"I think I have what it takes to win the fight standing or through ground and pound. He is going to be looking for mistakes and openings for his submissions. It will be a true honor to test myself against Frank."
"Frank Mir's trash talk won't affect me at all. I really do not pay a lot of attention to smack talk. Whatever my opponent needs to do to get themselves ready to fight me is fine. At the end of the night the better fighter (that evening) should have his hand raised and really that is all I care about. I have a lot of respect for Frank as a fighter and as a MMA professional. I have a long ways to go to be on his Hall of Fame level so whatever he says is likely justified."
Nick Diaz trainer Cesar Gracie was on TapouT Radio this week and lashed out at all the Diaz haters saying that Diaz is basically a scapegoat due to his against the grain attitude:
"People who don’t like Nick Diaz, that doesn’t make sense to me because here’s a guy who has never put a syringe in his ass in his life. He’s a clean fighter. Obviously [marijuana's] not a performance enhancing drug, so therefore trying to take the guy’s win away – all of these guys testing positive for steroids, and we’ll focus on Nick’s weed thing forever. Oh, we did steroids, that’s fine. Let’s not talk about that. You did some cocaine or something. People have this fetish for the weed thing or something. Obviously he wasn’t stoned for Gomi, but Nevada State with that idiot over there. I can’t remember his name. The little moron guy that was only an athletic commissioner guy because his daddy owned the hotel. He was pathetic and he wanted to make an example of Nick because, who knows? There are theories. Nick wasn’t in the UFC. The day Nick’s not in the UFC he’s testing positive. That was kind of a weird thing because he always smoked the night before (UFC fights). Then all of a sudden he’s in Pride and he’s testing positive. Oh we’re going to take your win away. Pride actually paid him a win bonus after he tested positive. They said, ‘nah, this is just a bunch of Nevada (expletive), and he won that fight.’ He got the win bonus and he went on from there."
Official fighter weigh-ins for this weekend's "UFC 110: Nogueira vs. Velasquez" took place today at Acer Arena in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, which also hosts Saturday's pay-per-view event.
All 18 fighters made weight (whether you prefer kilograms or pounds) for the event on their first trip to scale.
While main-event competitors Antonio Rodrgio Nogueira and Cain Velasquez brought cheers from the crowd, the most intense moments of the day came during the staredown between middleweights Wanderlei Silva and Michael Bisping.
Silva weighed-in with both a T-shirt and hat on (and still made weight in his first crack at 185 pounds), but shed both before charging across the stage to rush into "The Count's" face. UFC president Dana White jumped immediately in between before any real contact could be made, but the tension was palpable.
UFC 110 marks the UFC's debut in Australia, and the event features a pivotal heavyweight headliner Nogueira and Velasquez. According to White, the winner could earn a title shot.
Additionally, Australians George Sotiropoulos and Anthony Persoh look to earn wins while fighting in front of their home country.
The full weigh-in results include:
* Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (106 kg/233.2 lbs.) vs. Cain Velasquez (110 kg/242 lbs.)
* Michael Bisping (84 kg/184.8 lbs.) vs. Wanderlei Silva (84 kg/184.8 lbs.)
* George Sotiropoulos (70 kg/154 lbs.) vs. Joe Stevenson (70 kg/154 lbs.)
* Ryan Bader (93 kg/204.6 lbs.) vs. Keith Jardine (93 kg/204.6 lbs.)
* Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (106 kg/233.2 lbs.) vs. Anthony Perosh (98 kg/215.6 lbs.)
* Stephan Bonnar (93 kg/204.6 lbs.) vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (93 kg/204.6 lbs.)
* Brian Foster (78 kg/171.6 lbs.) vs. Chris Lytle (77 kg/169.4 lbs.)
* C.B. Dollaway (84 kg/184.8 lbs.) vs. Goran Reljic (84 kg/184.8 lbs.)
* Igor Pokrajac (93.2 kg/205 lbs.) vs. James Te Huna (93 kg/204.6 lbs.)
Maybe it's because he's spent little time in Australia since his quest for mixed martial arts greatness began, but UFC lightweight George Sotiropoulos (11-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) said his roots matter little when he steps into the cage against Joe "Daddy" Stevenson (31-10 MMA, 8-4 UFC) at this weekend's UFC 110 event in Sydney.
Instead Sotiropoulos, who originally hails from Geelong in the Australian state of Victoria, said it's about the performance he puts on, not the flag he flies.
"It's pleasing to me to fight in my home country and to perform at a venue like the Acer Arena, but that won't automatically make me beat Joe Stevenson on Feb. 21," Sotiropoulos said. "Once I walk into the cage, it's all irrelevant. The fans can't enter the octagon with me and fight Stevenson."
The 32-year-old fighter left a career in the finance industry to pursue his dream of fighting and bounced all over the world in search of the best training environments while landing in Guam, Japan, New York City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles along the way.
The "Ultimate Fighter 6" veteran has racked up four straight victories since the reality show and won his slot on the Australian card after his most recent fight, a submission victory over Jason Dent at UFC 106 this past November.
Stevenson represents a significant step up in competition for Sotiropoulos. The former lightweight contender is on a two-fight win streak with victories over top-tier fighters Nate Diaz and Spencer Fisher at The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale and UFC 104, respectively.
Stevenson's UFC lightweight losses are nothing to sneeze at: champion B.J. Penn and former contenders Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez.
"Everybody knows Joe as a guy with very good submissions in his locker and someone who is well-rounded," Sotiropoulos said. "He's also pretty tough and durable. He's got strong wrestling and works the top position very well. He's proven himself against the best lightweights in the UFC. It's fair to say he's no chump."
Sotiropoulos recognizes his underdog status and says Sunday is his time to shine.
"I truly believe people will recognize me as a legitimate top lightweight after this fight," he said. "A win over Stevenson will take me further up the ladder and closer to a title shot. That's what it's all about for me. I've always wanted to climb that ladder and achieve my goal of winning the UFC title."
At the pre-fight press conference for UFC 110 on Wednesday, UFC president Dana White didn't rule out contendership status for the Aussie if he continues to do well.
"Sotiropoulos looks good every time he fights, (so) who knows," he said. "That [155-] pound division is deadly. There are a lot of tough guys in that division and the toughest guy being B.J. Penn. People think he can't be stopped at 155 (pounds), so we're always going to need new contenders for B.J."
Sotiropoulos said years of steadily building his skills has prepared him for his biggest test to date.
"When you start training and forget about the mountain that you're trying to move and just focus on one task a day, it becomes a lot clearer," he said. "You start to acquire these skills over time and, when you're busy day-to-day, you quickly become proficient and then an expert. You don't try hard to get there.
"If you can move a grain of sand a day, you can eventually move a mountain."
With just 48 hours remaining until the Ultimate Fighting Championship's Australian debut, the promotion this evening announced a couple major changes to the fight card.
Anthony Perosh replaces ill Ben Rothwell in a UFC 110 main-card fight with Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, and a shoulder injury suffered by Elvin Sinosic has forced the cancellation of his preliminary-card bout with fellow Australian Chris Haseman.
UFC 110 takes place Saturday at Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.
The night's main card, including the Filipovic vs. Perosh bout, airs on pay-per-view.
Details of Rothwell's (30-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC) illness were not disclosed. Stepping in the IFL veteran's place is Perosh (10-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC), a 37-year-old Australian who returns to his UFC for the first time since his 0-2 stint in the promotion in 2006. Since the losses to Jeff Monson and Christian Wellisch, Perosh has fought primarily for Australia's popular Cage Fighting Championships promotion and has posted a 5-2 record. All of the wins have come via stoppage.
Perosh faces the biggest-name opponent of his career in Filipovic (25-7-2 MMA, 2-3 UFC), who recently snapped a three-fight win streak with a TKO loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 103 in September. Once one of the world's most feared heavyweight strikers, Filipovic is now desperately in need of a win.
Sinosic (8-11-2 MMA, 1-6 UFC) and Haseman (20-16 MMA, 0-1 UFC), meanwhile, earned their spots on the UFC 110 card largely because of their pasts as MMA trailblazers in Australia. While neither has had much success in recent years, the bout garnered some interest from local fight fans, who first saw the pair meet at a 1997 Caged Combat event. The bareknuckle fight saw Haseman earn the win by driving his chin into Sinosic's left eye until he tapped due to the now-illegal submission.
UFC officials opted to pull the card from the lineup rather than naming a replacement on such short notice.
The full UFC 110 card now includes:
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez
Michael Bisping vs. Wanderlei Silva
George Sotiropoulos vs. Joe Stevenson
Ryan Bader vs. Keith Jardine
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic vs. Anthony Perosh
Stephan Bonnar vs. Krzysztof Soszynski
Brian Foster vs. Chris Lytle
C.B. Dollaway vs. Goran Reljic
Igor Pokrajac vs. James Te Huna
Pro-camp in Gothenburg
At the weekend held a pro camp with the name Euro Elite Camp with several of Sweden's pro in MMA. At the weekend held a pro camp with the name Euro Elite Camp with several of Sweden's pro in MMA. The event is held in GBG MMA's premises and professional fighter Hamid Corassani answer some questions about Campet. The event is held in GBG MMA's premises and professional fighter Hamid Corassani answer some questions about Campet.
What does this type of training camps for Swedish MMA? What does this type of training camps for Swedish MMA?
- I believe and think that it means everything and then some for the Swedish MMA, both for the Swedish fighters and our European friends from Spain and Holland! - I believe and think that it means everything and then some for the Swedish MMA, both for the Swedish fighters and our European friends from Spain and Holland! People who become bogged down in so-called "club beef" wasting their time, to "beef" leads nowhere and ultimately it is Sweden to the world as we all now rooting for Alexander Gustafsson and wish him the best! People who become bogged down in so-called "club beef" wasting their time, to "beef" leads nowhere and ultimately it is Sweden to the world as we all now rooting for Alexander Gustafsson and wish him the best! To tex Alex trains and competes for Gladius MMA has no relevance at all, away with all the ridiculous barriers and allow us to dominate. To tex Alex trains and compete for Gladius MMA has no relevance at all, away with all the ridiculous barriers and allow us to dominate.
That we are pro fighters gathered at a camp that will take us to higher levels, and together we achieve our future goals, we are not the United States and we must help each other! That we are pro fighters Gathered at a camp that will take us to higher levels, and Together We Achieve our future goals, we are not the United States and we must help each other! With this attitude, Sweden will conquer the world, I am convinced ... With this attitude, Sweden will conquer the world, I am Convinced ...
Is this camp a one-time thing or will this be repeated? Is this camp a one-time thing or will this be repeated?
- Our vision is to organize more camps like this one. - Our vision is to organize more camps like this one. Swedish fighters are constantly match in question and why not make this a thing where the individual fighter has at least 10-15 solid sparring partners at a high level!? Swedish fighters are constantly match in question and why not make this a thing where the individual fighter has at least 10-15 solid sparring partners at a high level!? We do of course this is not to act any form of "MMA Jesus," but of course we get on really well GBG MMA sparring and evolve in this way. We do of course this is not to act any form of "MMA Jesus," but of course we get on really well GBG MMA sparring and evolve in this way. There will always be a win / win situation, I will help you win today and you will help me tomorrow ... There will always be a win / win situation, I will help you win today and you will help me tomorrow ...
What do all invited fighters on this? What do all invited fighters on this?
- I and our manager Manos Terzitane has had daily contact about this and invited all fighters are very överakskade / beneficial to the camp! - I and our manager Manos Terzitane has had daily contact about this and invited all the fighters are very överakskade / beneficial to the camp! All fighters will be on the carpet belongs Mano Management and it is also a 'team camp. All fighters will be on the carpet belongs Mano Management and it is also a 'team camp. We took the initiative and everyone involved looks forward to the camp very much, it will become a super good weekend with quality sparring and fun socializing! We took the initiative and everyone involved looks forward to the camp very much, it will become a super good weekend with quality sparring and fun socializing! Most of the guests will stay at nice hotels that GBG MMA / Crudo funded. Most of the guests will stay at nice hotels that GBG MMA / Crudo funded. All fighters should know the feeling that they are going to match, but instead it is about prestigelös training and no one will get hurt, "Leave your ego at the door" is the motto of the camp simply. All fighters should know the feeling that they are going to match, but instead it is about prestigelös training and no one will get hurt, "Leave your ego at the door" is the motto of the camp simply. The planning is done carefully and all will feel taken care of athletes just what hair-working athletes deserve! The planning is done carefully and all will feel ceilings care of athletes just what hair-working athletes deserve! Everyone will leave the camp as better fighters and with a very positive attitude towards their fight spirit in 2010. Everyone will leave the camp as better fighters and with a very positive attitude towards their fight spirit in 2010.