2010 Was a Great Year in Mixed Martial Arts

December 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Article, MMA News, Past Events 

mma logoI know it’s a bit early and I thought about doing a “What I Want for Christmas” piece, but that can wait until next week. Since the rise of the UFC we have become spoiled with the amount of MMA we get to see week in and week out. Some people will never be happy, but I know I am.

I am going to look back at this past year in mixed martial arts and express my gratitude for the men who have made this sport as great as it is. There were so many memorable fights, amazing finishes and shocking turns of events. I’d love to know what you are grateful for as well. This is the time of the year where it is better to give than to receive or so they say!

Georges St. Pierre:

No matter what this man does it is never enough. He dominates Dan Hardy for five rounds and secures two submissions that most fighters would have succumbed to and fans are still not happy! Then he thoroughly outclasses Josh Koscheck by doing what Koscheck said he would never do; stand and trade with him. Do you realize we are getting the opportunity to watch the Babe Ruth of MMA right now? Every time he fights he is better than the time before. He is an incredible athlete with an unbelievable work ethic who upholds all of the integrity that makes this sport so special.

The WEC-UFC Merger:

I realize it may mean less free MMA on television, but as a true fan of the sport and the men who compete in it, the merger makes sense and will allow the lighter fighters an opportunity to shine and make more money as well. Just look at the past week as the UFC was able to sign Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto and Michihiro Omigawa, two of the world’s top featherweights. Being able to make more money and compete inside the Octagon had a lot to do with the organization finally securing these fighters. We will get to watch Urijah Faber, Miguel Torres, Jose Aldo and so many other great fighters fight under the same banner as GSP and Anderson Silva. Well deserved if you ask me.

Cain Velasquez:

I’ve interviewed Velasquez before and he is as humble as they come. Everything that he has accomplished he has busted his ass for. Watching him tear through Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and then Brock Lesnar was simply awesome and I am a fan of both men. Velasquez is the type of fighter who goes about his business the way fighters are supposed to. He works hard, respects his opponents and the sport. It’s amazing to see him progress the way he has and he hasn’t reached his peak yet. Now that’s scary.

Junior Dos Santos:

Dos Santos is another in the long line of brilliant Brazilian fighters. Ever since he shocked the MMA world by dropping Fabricio Werdum with a well placed uppercut at UFC 90 the man has been on a mission. In 2010 alone he has defeated Gilbert Yvel, Gabriel Gonzaga and Roy Nelson. He has the best stand-up in the heavyweight division and while his ground game has yet to be tested, something tells me he will do just fine against Velasquez when they meet sometime in the next few months. Two young guns will battle over the sports most prestigious title. If that doesn’t get you excited I don’t know what will.

Jose Aldo:

Is this guy an animal or what? No one has been able to touch this guy, he has yet to be tested and I truly don’t know if that will happen at 145lbs. The UFC thinks so highly of him that they offered him an opportunity to fight Kenny Florian in January. Not only would it have been his first fight as a lightweight, but he would have been fighting in the UFC for the first time as well. I truly believe that Aldo will be a fighter that goes down in the history books as one of the best pound for pound fighters of all time. How great is it that we are lucky enough to watch him compete?

Frankie Edgar:

While many believe his win against BJ Penn at UFC 112 was very controversial, he more than made up for it with his dominant performance against Penn at UFC 118 just four months later. Now that he is champion the division has opened up once again after watching Penn dominate it for the previous two years. Regardless of the outcome of his bout with Grey Maynard next month there are so many fighters waiting in line for a shot at the gold, including the ones who have made their way over from the WEC.

World of Jenks:

For the past few years I have tried in earnest to get my wife to follow MMA more intently, but she just wasn’t interested. As soon as she watched the episode of the “World of Jenks” which featured WEC lightweight title competitor Anthony “Showtime” Pettis her interest really started to increase. The show really gave a great look into the life of a mixed martial artist and allowed you to invest yourself into him as a fan. They showed that fighters aren’t brute thugs or barbarians; rather they are men of honor and dedicated to their families. Great job by MTV.

Randy Couture:

If we really have seen the last of Couture inside the Octagon as a competitor then let us all be thankful that he went out on top. In 2010 he defeated Mark Coleman, Brandon Vera and choked out James Toney, the boxer who was hell bent on proving that mixed martial artists couldn’t compete with a good boxer. He was the right man for the job as he has represented this sport so well throughout his career. The UFC wouldn’t have been the same without “The Natural” aka “Captain America.”

Chael Sonnen:

Steroids or not this man showed the world that Anderson Silva is human and he also helped Silva show the world that he has a ton of heart. After being taken down at will and beaten up for over four rounds, Silva pulled a submission out of his ass and proved that he could work under pressure. Silva isn’t one of the greatest fighters for no reason and for one night in August, Sonnen helped show us that “The Spider” isn’t perfect and that he always keeps his composure.

Josh Rosenthal:

Kudos to a referee for having the balls to allow a champion the chance to fight out of danger. His decision was validated just a few minutes later when Brock Lesnar choked out Shane Carwin in the 2nd round of their heavyweight title fight back in July. Carwin was unloading all types of heavy artillery on the befallen Lesnar, but Rosenthal made sure he was in the right position to see that Lesnar was still competent and defending himself. Good job ref!

Mike Dolce:

The talent that Thiago Alves has is hardly a secret as he has been regarded one of the top three welterweights in the world for some time now, but it has been his inability to maintain his weight which as caused him to miss the 170lb limit on a few occasions. Dana White had enough and was looking to force Alves to compete as a middleweight. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed and Alves hooked up with Dolce. The result was a fantastic outing by Alves at UFC 124 against John Howard. Not only did Alves make weight, but he looked to be in prime condition, mixing in some takedowns with his always dangerous striking. The best days are ahead for Alves.

George Sotiropoulos:

Not to toot my own horn, but I was telling everyone when Sotiropoulos was on The Ultimate Fighter that this guy was something special. I don’t know what it was, but after watching him destroy Roman Mitichyan back in April of 2008, I felt that a drop to the lightweight division would be a huge boost to his career. Lo and behold he has won five straight as a lightweight including wins over Joe Stevenson, Kurt Pellegrino and Joe Lauzon. Watching him progress these past 12 months has been so gratifying.

Phil Davis & Jon Jones:

Along with Ryan Bader the UFC has three potential studs in their light heavyweight division and they are all under the age of 27. They have a combined record of 31-1 with the only loss being suffered by Jones and that loss was against Matt Hamill via DQ in a bout that Jones was absolutely dominating. Jones and Bader will be meeting in February at UFC 126 in a bout that may determine the next number one contender for the light heavyweight championship. These are three guys who will be staples of the division well into the next decade.

Chris Leben:

Whether you love him or you hate him, the man exemplifies what a fighter is all about. After handing Aaron Simpson his first loss on June 19th and earning the knockout of the night bonus, Leben bails the UFC out of a jam by returning to face Japanese sensation Yoshihiro Akiyama just three weeks later at UFC 116. The two waged a war for the better part of three rounds before Leben locked in a triangle choke with just 20 seconds left in the fight. The two men earned fight of the night for their troubles. I don’t know too many fighters who would have the balls to fight Simpson and Akiyama in the span of a few months let alone 3 weeks.

Evan Dunham:

This kid can fight and despite the fact that he was robbed against Sean Sherk at UFC 119 in September he was still offered a main event spot opposite Kenny Florian on the UFC: Fight for the Troops card that is scheduled for January. Florian is out because of an injury, but Dunham will face Melvin Guillard instead. In 2010 Dunham burst on to the scene with wins over Efrain Escudero, Tyson Griffin and technically Sean Sherk. He will be a big part of the UFC’s lightweight division for years to come.

Court McGee:

What makes MMA so great is the amount of inspirational stories that we hear about the fighters who compete in this great sport. Whether it’s a guy who came from a broken home and started wrestling to stay off the streets or a fighter whose friends were into drug dealing and he wanted something better, the stories are abundant and always interesting. McGee came out of nowhere to win The Ultimate Fighter season 11. After losing in the preliminary round, McGee was chosen to come back and he made the most of the opportunity. He defeated Kris McCray in the live finale. After winning via second round submission McGee gave an emotional speech about his past problems with drugs and showed the world that with hard work anything is possible.

Bellator:

The little promotion that could will soon enter its fourth season. If you haven’t watched a Bellator event live then do yourselves a favor and get to a show as soon as possible. Their matchmaking is spectacular and very rarely disappoints. I really like the tournaments they run and having Eddie Alvarez as your lightweight champion only helps. He is one of the top 155lb fighters in the world and recently dispatched of Roger Huerta this past October. They have secured a television deal with FX and do a great job of showcasing local talent everywhere they go.

There you have it, I know that there are no Strikeforce fighters on here, but to be honest the only things I can appreciate from Strikeforce are Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez. That doesn’t mean I don’t like any of their other fighters, but the promotion as a whole just doesn’t seem to get it. Stop focusing so much on Fedor and allowing him to dictate when, where and who he fights. The same can be said for their heavyweight “champion” Alistair Overeem. One title defense in three years is ridiculous. It’s time to move on and take control back.

Who’s On The Hot Seat? UFC 122 Edition

November 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Article, MMA News, Upcoming Events 

ufc 122Beginning with UFC 122 which is in Germany, the UFC will host four of their next seven events in an international location. UFC 124 will be held in Montreal, UFC 127 is slated for a return trip to Australia in March and last, but not least UFC 128 will see the organization return to Abu Dhabi.

UFC 122 has some interesting bouts lined up including the main event which is for all intents and purposes a battle to determine who will face the winner of February’s middleweight championship bout between champion Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort. Nate Marquardt vs. Yushin Okami is a worth main event, especially when the pay-per-view is free. Both men have faced Silva before with Okami winning due to an illegal upkick and Marquardt losing via first round knockout at UFC 73.

This card is full of fighters on the fringe and there usually is nothing more exciting than watching a mixed martial artist fight knowing their job is possibly on the line. The UFC lightweights in particular are sure to be on pins and needles with the influx of the WEC lightweights coming in beginning in January. Let’s take a look at Who’s On The Hot Seat.

Seth Petruzelli:

The man formerly known as “The Kimbo Killer” made his return to the octagon at UFC 116 against Ricardo Romero in what was a really exciting bout. He had Romero hurt a few times, but was unable to finish the job before succumbing to an armbar in the second round. He may be exciting and have a certain flair for the dramatic, but in the UFC wins count more than anything, especially in the stacked light heavyweight division. If he has another solid performance, but still comes up short he could still have a job, but a win is really what he needs here.

Karlos Vemola:

Vemola made his UFC debut at UFC 116 in July against Jon Madsen and suffered a unanimous decision loss. He will now try his hand as a light heavyweight as he takes on Petruzelli. Before facing Madsen, Vemola was undefeated in seven bouts with all seven ending in the first round. He finished his bouts quickly. The longest he ever fought was 3:14 with his other six bouts ending in well under two minutes. It’s tough for a fighter to lose his first two UFC bouts and keep his job. Vemola is certainly no different.

Nick Osipczak:

This British lightweight is in desperate need of a win. Having lost his first two UFC bouts, Osipczak really has no other choice if he wants to remain with the organization. Facing off against Duane Ludwig will not be an easy task. It’s win or a pink slip for this Brit.

Duane Ludwig:

This bout will mark the return to the welterweight division for Ludwig. He returned to the UFC as a late replacement for Sean Sherk and Tyson Griffin to face Jim Miller at UFC 108. He was forced to lose a lot weight in a short period of time and suffered a 1st round submission loss. His luck was no better in his next fight as he faced Darren Elkins at the first UFC event on the Versus Network. He technically lost via TKO, but it was due to a nasty ankle injury he suffered. So while he has two losses in a row, he does have a valid argument for both of them. I’m just not sure it will help him if he is to lose on Saturday.

Krzysztof Soszynski:

Having lost two of his last three bouts, Soszynski finds himself in need of a win here. His last two bouts were barnburners with Stephan Bonnar. The first took place at UFC 110 and ended with a referee stoppage because of a cut Bonnar sustained. Replays later showed that an accidental headbutt is what caused the cut. The two men met again at UFC 116 with Bonnar winning via 2nd round TKO. They were awarded the fight of the night bonus for their back and forth fight. Losing two in a row and three out of four could spell trouble for the Ultimate Fighter season eight cast member. He needs a big win here to remain employed.

Goran Reljic:

This will be Reljic’s fourth bout in the UFC and besides his fight of the night win against Wilson Gouveia back in May of 2008 at UFC 84 he hasn’t looked good. Maybe it was the drop to the middleweight division, but in back to back losses to C.B. Dolloway and Kendall Grove, Reljic has looked lackluster to say the least. He’s moving back up to 205 for this bout against Soszynski, but another loss will mark the end of his UFC career for the time being.

Peter Sobotta:

The only reason Sobotta is on this card is because he is part German. He has lost his first two UFC bouts against Paul Taylor and James Wilks. Unlike his opponent Amir Sadollah he doesn’t have an engaging, charismatic personality that can help him avoid the firing line with another loss. At least he will have the fans behind him on Saturday. He’s going to need some support if he comes up short again.

That just about does it as the other fighters on the card are pretty safe. Andre Winner did lose his last bout, but he is British and for the most part puts on an exciting bout, as long as he doesn’t face a wrestler who is content with laying on top of him like Nik Lentz was at UFC 118. Enjoy the fights and let me know if you agree or disagree with my selections.

Robert Drysdale Looks To Continue His Transformation To Mixed Martial Artist

November 4, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: MMA News, Uncategorized, Upcoming Events 

robert-drysdaleEven before the mixed martial arts boom following the success of The Ultimate Fighter there have been numerous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champions who have made the crossover to MMA.

The first one that comes to mind is Royce Gracie who showed the world that bigger isn’t always better when he won 3 of the first four UFC tournaments beginning in 1993.

Two of the men that are prominent today are UFC middleweight contender Demian Maia who fought for the organizations middleweight title. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is currently the Strikeforce middleweight champion and was also a finalist for the Dream middleweight Grand Prix and middleweight title.

As everyone knows being a superb BJJ practitioner doesn’t always mean you will be a great mixed martial artist. Fighters are now forced to deal with strikes and getting punched in the face is not something grapplers are used to.

That is why it will be interesting to see how multi-time world champion Robert Drysdale progresses now that he is working on becoming a full fledged mixed martial artist. Drysdale began training in jiu-jitsu in 1998 and since then has gone on to become one of the most successful grapplers in the sport.

Now as he prepares to take on Clay Davidson at Armageddon Fighting Championships 4: Revelation, Drysdale knows that he still has a lot of work to do on the other intricacies of mixed martial arts before he can began competing with the big boys.

“I feel good right now, I want to give myself plenty of time to prepare and adapt from the sport of jiu-jitsu to MMA,” said Drysdale.

“I know I am still green and I have watched a lot of other guys in the past jump in way too early. I think that is a mistake and I want to make sure I feel comfortable inside a cage. I can say today that I feel like I am at home not only technically, but on the mental level as well.”

The benefit of being such a distinguished grappler is that fighters from all over the world come to train with you. Drysdale has no shortage of workout partners who can help him with his striking, wrestling and other aspects of MMA. It also gives him an opportunity to sharpen his MMA jiu-jitsu as he helps many of those same fighters tighten up their grappling.

“I am currently working on my boxing with Gil Martinez, he trains a lot of pro-boxers,” Drysdale explained.

“My Muay Thai trainer is one of the best in the business. Shawn Yarborough is a world class fighter and has helped me immensely. I am lucky enough to have a lot of division 1 wrestlers training at my school and I work with them a bunch on my wrestling.”

Some refer to Drysdale as a sort of teacher to the stars as he has trained some of the best mixed martial artists in the business. He sees it as a win-win situation as he is able to get just as much out of their training sessions as they do.

“Currently I work with a lot of guys. Forrest Griffin and Frank Mir are two of the most consistent fighters who come to my gym,” said Drysdale matter-of-factly.

“John Alessio is in here every day as is Martin Kampmann, Phil Baroni, Jay Hieron and Tyson Griffin. The list goes on and on. I am always happy to help and share whatever knowledge and experience I have in jiu-jitsu with all of them.”

“I rely on guys like Mir and Forrest a lot. They are always giving me advice on what parts of jiu-jitsu will work well in MMA. I help them out with the jiu-jitsu and they share their experiences with me. Forrest is probably one of the best guys I roll with, he is very athletic. I have a harder time with him than I do with many world class wrestlers. You can’t go 80% against him because he will make you pay for it.”

One would think that with his name, background and connections there must have been numerous organizations looking to get him under contract. For Drysdale it wasn’t about money, it was about going to a place that would allow him to grow at his own pace.

“I went to Vegas in 2008 and my plans were to begin preparing to fight in MMA. I had an amateur match in 2008 with Tuff-N-Uff which is based in Las Vegas,” Drsydale told Go Fight Live.

“I had some health issues in 2009 that prevented me from fighting, but in early 2010 I made a promise that I would fight as much as possible. I met up with Jason Heit in California at a nightclub and he expressed a sincere interest in having me fight for AFC. He made me an offer and I signed with them, they have treated me really well. There were other organizations expressing interest, but Jason was really cool with me and that was a big influence on me.”

Saturday night’s fight in Victoria, British Columbia will be his second professional MMA bout. He defeated Bastein Huveneers via triangle choke just 1:12 into the first round of their bout in July. Drysdale has yet to determine a time frame or number of fights that he believes will be necessary for him to make the jump to a bigger organization such as the UFC.

“I have actually had offers to fight for some of the bigger promotions, not the UFC, but some other ones,” Drysdale is quick to point out. “Personally I feel as though I don’t have enough experience yet. I’m not doing it for the money so that’s not what motivates me.”

“I probably could make more money, but I feel gaining more experience is more important than making a bigger payday. When I started training BJJ, I made a natural progression as my skills and experience got better. I feel as though MMA shouldn’t be any different. I want to get as many fights as possible. I plan on fighting a few more times for the AFC and then maybe I will talk to Strikeforce or the UFC. I would even consider going on The Ultimate Fighter.”

As Drysdale makes his way up the ranks there may come a time when he’s asked to fight someone who he has trained with. Being that is one of the hot button questions in MMA today; it felt only natural to see where Drysdale stood on this issue.

“It depends on how the relationship is between us. I can’t say no that I never would, because you never know what is going to happen in the future,” explained the 2007 Open Weight Champion of the ADCC’s.

“People who I consider my friends and train with every day I would rather not fight. I have had to fight my friends in BJJ in the past and I didn’t like to. My thing is if I have to hurt you to win I will. If I have to break a limb to win I wouldn’t think twice, that is not something I would want to do to a friend.”

With only a few days remaining until he takes on Davidson, Drysdale begins to envision himself inside the cage. In fact it is something that he has done since an early age and he finds himself doing a lot of. His opponent is somewhat of a mystery to him, but he knows everyone is to be respected.

“I don’t know much about my opponent, but I don’t underestimate anyone. I take this fight very seriously,” said Drysdale. “As far as his skills I know very little about them, but I know what I am capable of and that is what is important to me.”

“Visualization is something I can remember doing as a kid. I am preparing my brain to act the right way so when the moment comes I am ready. I am a huge fan of visualization, I do it when I am eating and when I am in the shower. I have an idea of what is going to happen in this fight, but I can’t share that with you right now.”

As with many other martial artists, Drysdale stays true to his roots and is very loyal to those who have helped him get where he is today.

“My family is great, but I especially have to thank my mom. My mother believed in me when no one else did, not even myself. My friends, students and training partners are all awesome; they really care what happens when I fight. They really want me to do well. Suffer Clothing and Hayabusa have made a lot of this possible by sponsoring me.”

To find out more about Robert Drysdale you can visit his website here.

What To Make Of Hughes-Penn III

September 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: MMA News 

PennHughes_crop_340x234When news first broke of the impending third fight between former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes and former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion BJ Penn, I immediately contacted two very good friends of mine.

Spencer Kyte of Heavy MMA and Josh Nason of Bleacher Report are more than just friends, they are like brothers in an industry that can swallow some people whole. That is why when I go to them with an opinion or a question, I know I will get an honest, forthright answer that will always pique my interest that much more.

Spencer thought that it said a lot about both fighters. He commended Hughes for still wanting that big challenge while he questioned Penn’s motive for taking the fight. Was it simply a matter of wanting to take a bigger payday against a proven veteran that he has a history with or was it simply a matter of BJ taking a fight that he can train even less for.

Nason actually liked the idea of the matchup. With the way Hughes looked against Almeida he certainly showed he had plenty left in his tank. He also questioned whether Penn is simply unable to hang with the younger fighters who seem to be taking over the sport. Much like the majority of people I spoke with, Josh wanted to see a rematch between Penn and former Pride lightweight champion Takanori Gomi.

As far as I’m concerned, I don’t like the matchup. The fan in me is afraid that if Hughes wins he will start looking for another shot at the title and as we all know, he simply can not hang with Georges St. Pierre assuming he defeats Josh Koscheck and remains the UFC welterweight champion. I would have rather seen Hughes take on Matt Serra again if the latter is successful against Chris Lytle at the end of this month at UFC 119.

Going back to Penn, I too would have loved to see him do battle with “The Fireball Kid,” who himself is coming off a thrilling first round knockout against Tyson Griffin at UFC on Versus 2 last month. Regardless of who Penn fights, allowing him to go back up to welterweight at this point gives him a reason to come in at a heavier weight which in turn means less training and more eating.

That got me to thinking about the way Penn’s career has gone. Will he go down as perhaps one of the most disappointing fighters in MMA history despite the unparalleled success he has had throughout his career? There are athletes in every sport who are blessed with immense talent, but for some reason or another, whether it be physical or mental, just can’t seem to reign that talent in on a consistent basis.

At the end of the day will more people focus on the failures of Penn or the titles and significant victories he has accumulated throughout his career. Ultimately the answer to that question will fall squarely on the shoulders of Penn. He has stated numerous times that he wants to go down as the best fighter ever, this next fight should go a long way in proving whether or not he is truly serious.

As for Hughes, he continues on what many conceive to be an unannounced retirement tour. A tour that has seen him rack up three wins in a row. Will a fourth straight win cause him to shoot for the stars one more time or will it just be another notch in a belt that has collected a boatload of victims?

THE ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP® CONFIRMS REMAINING BOUTS FOR UFC® LIVE on VERSUS

July 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: MMA News 

MAIN EVENT

JON “BONES” JONES vs. VLADIMIR “THE JANITOR” MATYUSHENKO

MARK MUNOZ vs. YUSHIN OKAMI

JOHN HOWARD vs. JAKE ELLENBERGER

TAKANORI GOMI vs. TYSON GRIFFIN

PAUL KELLY vs. JACOB VOLKMANN

DAMARQUES JOHNSON vs. MATTHEW RIDDLE

JAMES IRVIN vs. IGOR POKRAJAC

BRAIN STANN vs. MIKE MASSENZIO

THIAGO TAVARES vs. WILLAMY FREIRE

DARREN ELKINS vs. CHARLES OLIVEIRA

ROB KIMMONS vs. STEVE STEINBEISS

SUNDAY, AUGUST 1, 2010

Live from the San Diego Sports Arena– Tickets on Sale Now

Las Vegas, NV (USA) –Jon “Bones” Jones will attempt to continue his meteoric rise within the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light heavyweight division when he steps into the Octagon® to face veteran fighter Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko at UFC LIVE on VERSUS, live from the San Diego Sports Arena. “Bones” Jones defeated Brandon Vera in March to improve his record to 10-1, while Matyushenko has been victorious in his last two fights since his return to the UFC. The main event will be supplemented by riveting matchups featuring various stars such as Mark Munoz, Yushin Okami, John Howard, Jake Ellenberger, Takanori Gomi and Tyson Griffin.  The fights will air live on VERSUS at 9 p.m. ET, marking the second time a UFC event will be televised on a national sports cable network.

UFC LIVE on VERSUS will feature the following matchups: Mark Munoz vs. Yushin Okami, John Howard vs. Jake Ellenberger, Takanori Gomi vs. Tyson Griffin, Paul Kelly vs. Jacob Volkmann, DaMarques Johnson vs. Matthew Riddle, James Irvin vs. Igor Pokrajac, Brian Stann vs. Mike Massenzio, Thiago Tavares vs. Willamy Freire, Darren Elkins vs. Charles Oliveira, Rob Kimmons vs. Steve Steinbeiss.

Tickets for UFC LIVE on VERSUS are on sale and are available for purchase at www.tickethorse.com and the Pepsi Center Box Office.

The prelude to the main event features Mark Munoz (fighting out of Vallejo, Calif./8-1), winner of five of his last six fights, including three in a row over the likes of Ryan Jensen and Kendall Grove. With a background in wrestling, the heavy-handed fighter also has knockout power to coincide with a well-versed ground game which could prove dangerous for his opponent Yushin “Thunder” Okami (fighting out of Kanagawa, Japan/25-5). The veteran fighter out of Japan has been victorious in eight of his ten fights within the UFC. One of the most physically imposing fighters at 185-pounds, Okami will be a true test for his latest opponent.

A boxing background has been beneficial for Boston native John Howard (fighting out of Boston, Mass./14-4) while in the UFC. His last two victories have come via knockout, most recently against Daniel Roberts at the first UFC on Versus. Overall, this welterweight fighter is undefeated in his UFC career, but Jake Ellenberger (fighting out of Omaha, Neb./22-5) will try to tarnish that record. A recent addition to the UFC, the native from the Cornhusker State scored a TKO over Mike Pyle at UFC 108, just 22 seconds into the second round. Ellenberger’s granite chin and heavy hands will guide him in this welterweight matchup.

Former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi (fighting out of Tokyo, Japan/31-6) will make his second appearance in the UFC after his slugfest with Kenny Florian at UFC Fight Night in March of 2010. The accomplished wrestler has a terrific ground game, complemented by tremendous knockout power. Standing across the Octagon from Gomi will be Tyson Griffin (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev./14-3). The native of Sacramento, California employs an aggressive ground and pound attack, which should match up well with Gomi’s wrestling background. The winner of six of his last eight fights, Griffin looks to get back in the title race with a win over “The Fireball Kid”.

The toughness and conditioning of Paul Kelly (fighting out of Liverpool, England/11-2) has never been questioned, as half of his six fights within the UFC have gone the distance and each time, Kelly has been the unanimous victor. Kelly has excelled at the ground and pound, which will be tested against Jacob Volkmann (fighting out of White Bear Lake, Minn./10-2), who has a stellar wrestling background. The former Big Ten wrestling champion most recently won a split decision over Ronys Torres at UFC Fight Night in March, after consecutive battles with Paulo Thiago and Martin Kampmann.

The versatile DaMarques Johnson (fighting out of Salt Lake City, Utah/16-7) is on a two fight win streak within the UFC, defeating Edgar Garcia and Brad Blackburn via submission and TKO, respectively. The Utah native faces a tough matchup with Matthew Riddle (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev./4-1), who has had all of his professional fights within the UFC. A wrestling background, with a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has helped this young fighter excel inside the Octagon.

A veteran fighter who has fought in both the UFC and WEC, James “The Sandman” Irvin (fighting out of Sacramento, Calif./14-6, 1 NC) doesn’t often spend much time in the Octagon during his fights. Of his 13 fights between the two organizations, nine have ended in the first round. His matchup against Igor Pokrajac (fighting out of Zagreb, Croatia/21-7) is important for both fighters, as they are both in need of a victory. A top-10 fighter on the European scene, Pokrajac is coming off hard-fought scraps against Vladimir Matyushenko and James Te Huna.

Former WEC light heavyweight champion Brian Stann (fighting out of Scranton, Pa./8-3) began developing his combative mindset as an Infantry Officer in the Marine Corps. Stann has won two of his last three fights within the UFC and plans to make it three out of four against former National junior college wrestling champion Mike Massenzio (fighting out of Paterson, N.J./11-3). The well-rounded New Jersey native has not fought in the UFC since 2008, but Massenzio will utilize his brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu to prolong his stay within the organization.

Brazil native Thiago Tavares (fighting out of Florianopolis, Brazil/18-3-1) has four wins in the UFC and has battled some of the elite names in lightweight division such as Tyson Griffin, Matt Wiman, and Kurt Pellegrino. On August 1st, he battles Willamy “Chiquerim” Freire (fighting out of Fortaleza, Brazil/17-3). Making his UFC debut, the fighter out of Brazil has won eleven consecutive fights, five by submission. The young fighter has had twenty professional fights and he has finished 13 of them.

The first lightweight matchup for UFC on VERSUS features two rising stars as Darren Elkins (fighting out of Hobart, Ind./12-1) will face Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira (fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil/12-0). Elkins made his debut in March for the premiere of UFC on VERSUS and was victorious over Duane Ludwig via TKO stoppage. Oliveira will make his debut for the UFC after amassing a tremendous unbeaten professional record.

The first fight of the evening features Rob Kimmons (fighting out of Liberty, Mo./22-5) who is a 3rd degree black belt in American jiu-jitsu. The Kansas City native has won two of his last four fights in the UFC and will be tested when he faces Steve Steinbeiss (fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz./4-3) on August 1st. Steinbeiss is a durable fighter with speed and power who is seeking his first victory in the UFC.

Ultimate Fighting Championship®www.ufc.com
Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC® produces over twelve UFC live Pay-Per-View events annually and 30 live arena events around the world.  UFC programming is distributed in the United States on Viacom, Inc.’s Spike TV and on Comcast, Inc.’s Versus network.  Globally, UFC programming is broadcast in over 130 countries, territories and jurisdictions, reaching 430 million homes worldwide, in 20 different languages.  Ancillary businesses now include UFC.com with over 5 million unique visitors per month, the best-selling UFC “Undisputed” videogame franchise distributed by THQ, UFC Gym, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo festivals, branded apparel, trading cards, articulated action figures and other media including best-selling DVDs and a U.S. bimonthly magazine.

Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Ultimate Fighting®, UFC®, The Ultimate Fighter®, Submission®, As Real As It Gets®, Zuffa®, The Octagon and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks, registered service marks, trademarks, trade dress and/or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC and licensed to its affiliated entities and other licensees in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC, its affiliates or other respective owners.

About VERSUS

THE ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP® CONFIRMS REMAINING BOUTS FOR UFC 115: LIDDELL vs. FRANKLIN

June 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: MMA News 

SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 2010

MIRKO “CRO COP” vs. PAT BARRY

PAULO THIAGO vs. MARTIN KAMPMANN

BEN ROTHWELL vs. GILBERT YVEL

CARLOS CONDIT vs. RORY MACDONALD

TYSON GRIFFIN vs. EVAN DUNHAM

MAC DANZIG vs. MATT WIMAN

DAVID LOISEAU vs. MARIO MIRANDA

JAMES WILKS vs. PETER SOBOTTA

RICARDO FUNCH vs. CLAUDE PATRICK

MIKE PYLE vs. JESSE LENNOX

Live from General Motors Place – Vancouver, BC

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – On Saturday, June 12, at the sold-out General Motors Place in Vancouver, BC, Canada, legendary UFC® Hall of Famer Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell will step into the UFC Octagon against fellow superstar Rich “Ace” Franklin in a battle of former champions that headlines a stacked UFC 115 card destined to be one of the most memorable of 2010. In undercard bouts, the UFC announces the following matchups: Mirko “Cro Cop” vs. Pat Barry, Paulo Thiago vs. Martin Kampmann, Ben Rothwell vs. Gilbert Yvel, Carlos Condit vs. Rory MacDonald, Tyson Griffin vs. Evan Dunham, Mac Danzig vs. Matt Wiman, David Loiseau vs. Mario Miranda, James Wilks vs. Peter Sobotta, Ricardo Funch vs. Claude Patrick and Mike Pyle vs. Jesse Lennox.

UFC 115 is available live on Pay-Per-View at 10pm ET/7pm PT on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, BellTV, Shaw Communications, Sasktel, and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.99 US/$49.99 CAN for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available).

Fighting legend Mirko Cro Cop (fighting out of Zagreb, Croatia/26-7-2, 1 NC) returns to the Octagon in hopes of adding Pat Barry (fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc./5-1 record) to his long list of highlight reel knockouts. With wins over Wanderlei Silva, Mark Coleman and Kevin Randleman, Cro Cop has faced and finished some of the biggest names in the sport. The dangerous Croatian kickboxer has won two out of his last three in the Octagon and faces a rising star in Pat Barry. The New Orleans native has won two out of three in the UFC and is coming off a big TKO win against Antoni Hardonk. Known for his willingness to stand and trade punches, Barry is an explosive athlete who also boasts ferocious leg kicks and will be gunning for the biggest victory of his young career.

Paulo Thiago (fighting out of Brasilia, Brazil/13-1 record) has taken the UFC’s welterweight division by storm, emerging from obscurity to defeat Josh Koscheck, Mike Swick and Jacob Volkmann. Now the heavy-handed Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt looks to continue his march toward the title when he faces UFC veteran Martin Kampmann (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev./16-3). Winner of three of his past four inside of the Octagon, including a thrilling victory over highly-regarded Carlos Condit, Kampmann looks to get his 17th win as a professional.

Always gunning for a knockout from start to finish, and with 30 KOs in his 36 wins, Gilbert Yvel (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev./36-14-1, 1 NC) gets his wish more often than not. On June 12, the Amsterdam-born slugger will once again be swinging for the fences against 6-foot-4, 265-pound Ben Rothwell (fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc./30-7). Vastly experienced with more than three dozen pro fights under his belt, “Big Ben” has finished 28 of his opponents and holds notable victories over Ricco Rodriguez and Roy “Big Country” Nelson.

After narrowly losing an action-packed bout to Martin Kampmann in his UFC debut, Carlos Condit (fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M./24-5) rebounded with a spirited win over Jake Ellenberger. Condit is a former world champion of the WEC® and most of his recent bouts have been strong candidates for Fight of the Night. After being sidelined with an injury, the 26-year-old is ready to return and make unbeaten Rory MacDonald (fighting out of Kelowna B.C. Canada/10-0) his 25th victim. The baby-faced MacDonald, who at the tender age of 20 is the youngest fighter currently in the UFC, has publicly stated his intentions to someday become “the greatest fighter to ever live.” The pride of Kelowna is already 1-0 in the UFC and beating Condit would be a huge step toward fulfilling his monumental goals.

Having waged many memorable wars inside of the Octagon, the biggest moment in the career of Tyson Griffin (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev./14-2) came at UFC 103 when he knocked out former title challenger Hermes Franca in devastating fashion to cap a stellar 2009. The Fight of the Night master now turns his attention to teammate Evan Dunham (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev./10-0), an extremely dangerous prospect who owns a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, high-caliber wrestling skills and has yet to lose as a pro.

Winner of the sixth season of The Ultimate Fighter®, Mac Danzig (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev./20-7-1) is coming off of a victory over Justin Buchholz and aims to do the same against Matt Wiman (fighting out of Dallas, TX/11-5). With wins over Buchholz, Thiago Tavares and Shane Nelson, Wiman is always down for a slugfest and will likely look to keep it standing against Danzig, who is quite crafty on the canvas.

Known as one of the best Canadian fighters in the world today, David Loiseau (fighting out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada/19-9) is looking to start his journey back to the top of the middleweight division. In order for him to make his run at the title, Loiseau must start by defeating Mario Miranda (fighting out of Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil/11-1).  Known for his strong wrestling ability, Miranda showed that he was more than a one-dimensional fighter when he decided to stand and trade punches during his first UFC bout against Gerald Harris.

Winner of season nine of The Ultimate Fighter, James Wilks (fighting out of Laguna Hills, Calif./7-3) wants to prove to everyone that his success inside of The Ultimate Fighter house wasn’t some kind of fluke. Believing that he can compete with the fighters in the division, Wilks knows that his dream of becoming a champion starts with a victory over Peter Sobotta (fighting out of Geislingen, Germany/8-2). Known for having a large base of fans in Europe, Sobotta wants to give his fans an excellent performance when he fights in Canada for the first time.

Ricardo Funch (fighting out of Ludlow, MA/7-1) earned respect from many fans when he battled Johny Hendricks in his first outing inside the Octagon. Although he came up short on the scorecards, Funch believes that his luck will be different when he faces off against Canadian Claude Patrick (fighting out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada/11-1). Known for his submission abilities, Patrick will undoubtedly be going for Submission of the Night honors come fight time.

Known for wanting to fight the best possible opponent each time he enters the Octagon, Mike Pyle (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev./18-7-1) is a dangerous submission fighter that turned heads in the UFC when he submitted Chris Wilson last September. The Dresden, Tennessee native is almost certain to be in the middle of another exciting fight when he squares off against Jesse Lennox (fighting out of Bettendorf, IA/15-2). Having allowed only two of his 17 professional fights to end up in the hands of the judges, it’s safe to say that a highlight-reel finish will happen for one of these fighters before the 15-minute mark.

For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit UFC.com, UK.UFC.com, GERMANY.UFC.com, UFCJapan.jp or UFCEspanol.com. All bouts live and subject to change.

Ultimate Fighting Championship® – www.ufc.com

Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC® produces over twelve UFC live Pay-Per-View events annually and 30 live arena events around the world.  UFC programming is distributed in the United States on Viacom, Inc.’s Spike TV and on Comcast, Inc.’s Versus network.  UFC content is distributed commercially through Joe Hand Promotions in the U.S. and Canadastar in Canada.  Globally, UFC programming is broadcast in over 130 countries, territories and jurisdictions, reaching 430 million homes worldwide, in 20 different languages.  Ancillary businesses now include UFC.com with over 5 million unique visitors per month, the best-selling UFC “Undisputed” videogame franchise distributed by THQ, UFC Gym™, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo™ festivals, branded apparel, trading cards, articulated action figures and other media including best-selling DVDs and a U.S. bimonthly magazine.

Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Ultimate Fighting®, UFC®, The Ultimate Fighter®, Submission®, As Real As It Gets®, Zuffa®, The Octagon™ and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks, registered service marks, trademarks, trade dress and/or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC and licensed to its affiliated entities and other licensees in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC, its affiliates or other respective owners.

ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP® CONFIRMS REMAINING BOUTS FOR UFC® 103

September 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: MMA News 

MIRKO CRO COP vs. JUNIOR DOS SANTOS

MARTIN KAMPMANN vs. PAUL DALEY

JOSH KOSCHECK vs. FRANK TRIGG

TYSON GRIFFIN vs. HERMES FRANCA

EFRAIN ESCUDERO vs. COLE MILLER

DREW MCFEDRIES vs. TOMASZ DRWAL

JIM MILLER vs. STEVE LOPEZ

NIK LENTZ vs. RAFAELLO OLIVEIRA

RICK STORY vs. BRIAN FOSTER

ELIOT MARSHALL vs. JASON BRILZ

VLADIMIR MATYUSHENKO vs. IGOR POKRAJAC

ROBERT EMERSON vs. RAFAEL DOS ANJOS

 

LIVE FROM THE AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER

 SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2009

 

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – As the saying goes, everything’s bigger in Texas – including the fight cards. With the superfight between former middleweight champion Rich Franklin and Vitor Belfort already signed, the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) is set to put on a record 13 fights for UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort, which is presented by TEQUILA CAZADORES, live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on September 19.

 

Tickets for UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort are still on sale and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, AmericanAirlinesCenter.com, American Airlines Center Box Office and by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Prices do not include service charges.

 

Mirko Cro Cop (fighting out of Zagreb, Croatia) has fought some of the best heavyweights in the world. The seasoned striker with 25 professional wins is coming off a TKO victory against Mostapha Al Turk in June, but the former PRIDE® Grand Prix champion could be facing one of his toughest challenges in recent memory when he takes on the dangerous Brazilian Junior Dos Santos (fighting out of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil). With two knockout wins in his first two UFC fights, no one has lasted longer than 80 seconds in the UFC against the 25-year-old. The 6-foot-4, 238-pound fighter will need to bring his sharpest standup game yet against the feared Croatian kickboxer.

 

Coming off the biggest win of his career, welterweight contender Martin Kampmann (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) is fresh from an impressive split decision victory over former World Extreme Cagefighting® welterweight champion Carlos Condit in April. Since dropping down to the 170-pound weight class, the 27-year-old former Danish Thai boxing champion is a perfect 2-0 but will be pitted against the extremely explosive Paul Daley (fighting out of Nottingham, England). An exciting striker that has fought around the globe, Daley owns KO wins over UFC veterans John Alessio and Duane Ludwig and is making his UFC debut.

 

A former national college wrestling champion, Josh Koscheck (fighting out of Fresno, Calif.) has compiled 10 UFC wins in his career. The Waynesburg, Pennsylvania native has wins over Diego Sanchez, Chris Lytle and Dustin Hazelett, but he has never faced someone like returning UFC veteran Frank Trigg (fighting out of Las Vegas, NV.). One half of two memorable fights with then UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes, Trigg has the experience, wrestling background and Octagon savvy to give Koscheck the most difficult test of his career. With two UFC victories already on his resume`, Trigg makes his first trip back into the Octagon™ since 2005.

 

At only 25 years old, Tyson Griffin (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) has already compiled six wins in the UFC. The powerful lightweight fighter holds victories over Clay Guida, Gleison Tibau and most recently a unanimous decision win against Rafael Dos Anjos in April. But now the Sacramento, California born mixed martial artist turns his attention to another tough Brazilian in Hermes Franca (fighting out of Miami, Fla.). The decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt holds two submission victories in the UFC and is coming off a unanimous decision win against his former jiu-jitsu instructor Marcus Aurelio at UFC 90.

 

Winner of the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter™, Efrain Escudero (fighting out of Tempe, Ariz.) remains undefeated (12-0) as a professional mixed martial artist and holds a win over Phillipe Nover in the show’s finale. Now the former All-American college wrestler and Mexico-born fighter will face the red-hot Cole Miller (fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.). The 25-year-old Augusta, Ga. native is coming off two consecutive submission victories, tapping out Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Jorge Gurgel and TUF 8’s Junie Browning in successive bouts. The 6-foot-1 lightweight has four total wins in the UFC, and he’ll be looking for number five on September 19th.

 

With all four of his UFC wins coming via KO/TKO, Drew McFedries (fighting out of Bettendorf, Iowa) has the power and the talent to put anyone’s lights out. It took the Ames, Iowa born fighter only 37 seconds to take Xavier Foupa-Pokam out in his last fight at UFC 98 and the talented middleweight will need every bit of his standup skill when he mixes it up with the aggressive Tomasz Drwal (fighting out of San Diego, Calif. / Krakow, Poland). The heavy-handed 27-year-old is coming off of two knockout victories, including a devastating TKO win over Mike Ciesnolevicz in June. Drwal, who has a 16-2 record, will look for his third UFC win in 2009.

 

Jim Miller (fighting out of Whippany, N.J.) has impressed many during his time in the UFC. Winner of three of his four UFC fights, the Sparta, New Jersey native earned a unanimous decision win against the experienced Mac Danzig at UFC 100 in July. Now the lightweight with the 14-2 pro record faces UFC newcomer Steve Lopez (fighting out of South Bend, Ind.). A national qualifier as a college wrestler, the 25-year-old Lopez holds a 12-1 record and makes his UFC debut on September 19.

 

Two fighters that are making their UFC debuts, Nik Lentz (fighting out of Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Rafaello Oliveira (fighting out of Knoxville, Tenn. / Janja, Brazil) are looking to put on a show in their respective premieres. Lentz, an El Paso, Texas native, wrestled at the University of Minnesota, where he is one semester away from graduating in Pre-Med. Lentz puts his 18-3-1 career mark against Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Rafaello Oliveira. Riding a three-fight win streak, the 9-1 Oliveira has three wins by submission and three by TKO.

 

Heading into his second UFC fight, Rick Story (Vancouver, Wash.) is coming off a three-round battle with John Hathaway. The 25-year-old welterweight holds a 7-3 pro record and is looking for his first UFC win when he takes on Sallisaw, Oklahoma’s Brian Foster (fighting out of Granite City, Ill.). With an impressive 14-3 pro record, Foster has eight wins by KO/TKO, four by submission and is making his UFC debut.

 

Making plenty of noise in the ultra-stacked light heavyweight division is Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Eliot Marshall (fighting out of Boulder, Colo.). With back-to-back wins against Jules Bruchez and Vinny Magalhaes, the Franklinville, N.J. native is a perfect 2-0 in the UFC and 7-2 overall. Marshall looks for his third UFC win when he faces Jason Brilz (fighting out of Omaha, Neb.). The Bismarck, North Dakota fighter also has wins in his two UFC fights, including a unanimous decision victory against Tim Boetsch in March.

 

Making his return to the Octagon after six years, Vladimir Matyushenko (fighting out of El Segundo, Calif.) is back and has won nine of his last 10 fights. The 22-4 Belarusian holds seven wins by submission and seven by TKO and is looking to shake up the light heavyweight division when he returns to face Igor Pokrajac (fighting out of Zagreb, Croatia). A protégé of Mirko Cro Cop, Pokrajac is on an eight-fight win streak and brings a 21-5 record into his UFC debut.

 

A veteran of four UFC fights, lightweight Rob Emerson (fighting out of Irvine, Calif.) is remembered for his 12 second TKO victory against the aggressive Manny Gamburyan. Now the 28-year-old from Huntington, California looks for his third UFC win when he takes on Rafael Dos Anjos (fighting out of Rio de Janeiro). The 24-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion last fought Tyson Griffin in a three-round battle that turned many heads. Now Dos Anjos heads into his third UFC match against the experienced Emerson.

 

About The Ultimate Fighting Championship®

The Ultimate Fighting Championship® is the world’s leading professional mixed martial arts organization and offers the premier series of MMA sports events. Owned and operated by Zuffa™, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC® produces over twelve live pay-per-view events annually that are distributed residentially through North American cable and satellite providers including iNDEMAND Networks, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN Entertainment, BellTV, SaskTel Max™, Shaw Pay-Per-View, Viewers Choice, and WOWOW in Japan, and Premiere Combate and SporTV in Brazil, and via the Internet worldwide on Yahoo! Sports, and commercially through Joe Hand Promotions in the U.S. and Canadastar in Canada.  In addition to its North American distribution, UFC programming is distributed in over 100 countries and territories throughout the world.

 

Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Ultimate Fighting®, UFC®, The Ultimate Fighter®, Submission®, As Real As It Gets®, Zuffa® , The Octagon™ and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks, registered service marks, trademarks, trade dress and/or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC and licensed to its affiliated entities and other licensees in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC, its affiliates or other respective owners.

UFC HEADS BACK TO TEXAS FOR UFC 103

July 15, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: MMA News 

FOUR FIGHTS ALREADY INKED FOR

FIRST-EVER UFC® EVENT IN DALLAS

 

MIKE SWICK vs. MARTIN KAMPMANN

EFRAIN ESCUDERO vs. COLE MILLER

JOSH KOSCHECK vs. FRANK TRIGG

TYSON GRIFFIN vs. HERMES FRANCA

 

LIVE FROM THE AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2009

 

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – As the old adage proclaims, everything is bigger and better in Texas. On Saturday, September 19th, the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) will prove it as the organization brings one of the most talent-rich events of the year to the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas for UFC 103. Featuring four pivotal bouts with world title implications as well as a main event still to be announced, the star power on the UFC card, which includes  Mike Swick vs. Martin Kampmann, Efrain Escudero vs. Cole Miller, Josh Koscheck vs. Frank Trigg and Tyson Griffin vs. Hermes Franca, will more than light up the Texas night.

 

 “I’m excited the UFC is heading back to Texas,” UFC President Dana White said. “Our event in Houston was a great success. Wherever we go, fans know UFC delivers great fights. Mike Swick vs. Martin Kampmann could be fight of the night at UFC 103 because the winner takes on Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title.”

 

Tickets for UFC 103 will go on sale Saturday, July 18 at 10 a.m. CT and will be priced at $450, $350, $250, $150, $100 and $50. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, AmericanAirlinesCenter.com, American Airlines Center Box Office and by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Prices do not include service charges.

 

UFC® Fight Club™ members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Thursday, July 16 starting at 10 a.m. CT via UFC.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers on Friday, July 17 starting at 10 a.m. CT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com.

 

“The UFC is the most successful organization in mixed martial arts,” Ken Kuhl, Assistant Vice President of Events and Booking at American Airlines Center said. “American Airlines Center is excited to give Dallas the opportunity to see this amazing roster of mixed martial arts live.”

 

American Airlines Center:  As Dallas’ premier sports and entertainment venue, American Airlines Center host over 200 events a year, including sports, concerts and family entertainment.  American Airlines Center is home to the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars. For more information, please visit www.americanairlinescenter.com.

 

Welterweight contender and Houston native Mike Swick (fighting out of San Jose, Calif.) is sure to have the hometown fans in his corner when he takes on the dangerous Martin Kampmann (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.). Since making the move to welterweight, Swick has been a perfect 4-0 with two knockouts, the most recent coming against Ben Saunders at UFC 99 in June. The 30-year-old with a 14-2 professional mixed martial arts record has nine UFC wins and he is amped up to be finally fighting for the opportunity to challenge for a title shot. Martin Kampmann turned many heads in the MMA community with an impressive split-decision victory over former World Extreme Cagefighting® (WEC®) welterweight champion Carlos Condit in April. With two straight wins since moving down to welterweight and six overall in the UFC, the 15-2 Kampmann is beginning to hit his stride.

 

Winner of Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter™, lightweight Efrain Escudero (fighting out of Tempe, Ariz.) remained undefeated in his mixed martial arts career with a unanimous decision win over Phillipe Nover at the TUF8 season finale in December. The 23-year-old Mexico native and former All-American collegiate wrestler has possibly found his match on the ground when he faces submission specialist Cole Miller (fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.). The 25-year-old Augusta, Georgia native has won his last two matches via submission with one of those victories coming against Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and MMA veteran Jorge Gurgel.

 

With 10 UFC wins already on his resume, 31-year-old Josh Koscheck (fighting out of Fresno, Calif.) has the experience and the skill to mix it up with anyone in the welterweight division. For his next match, the former NCAA Division I national wrestling champion will need every bit of that experience when he faces one of the toughest tests in his career in Frank Trigg (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.). A veteran of 25 mixed martial arts fights, the Rochester, New York product is no stranger to the Octagon, taking on fighters such as Matt Hughes, Georges St-Pierre, Dennis Hallman and Renato Verissimo. Now the experienced wrestlers square off as Trigg fights for the first time in the UFC since 2005.

 

Already a fight of the night candidate, lightweights Tyson Griffin (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) and Hermes Franca (fighting out of Jupiter, Fla.) are sure to give the Dallas fans a great show. With wins over Clay Guida, Gleison Tibau and most recently Rafael Dos Anjos, the 25-year-old Griffin has already compiled 13 wins in his pro MMA career. Now the Sacramento native will face his toughest test on the ground against Franca, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. The 34-year-old UFC and WEC veteran already has nine wins total in both organizations against names that include Nate Diaz, Jamie Varner, Spencer Fisher and Caol Uno. His most recent grudge match victory against Marcus Aurelio at UFC 90 has propelled the former world title challenger back into the spotlight.

 

About The Ultimate Fighting Championship®

The Ultimate Fighting Championship® is the world’s leading professional mixed martial arts organization and offers the premier series of MMA sports events. Owned and operated by Zuffa™, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC® produces over twelve live pay-per-view events annually that are distributed residentially through North American cable and satellite providers including iNDEMAND Networks, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN Entertainment, BellTV, SaskTel Max™, Shaw Pay-Per-View, Viewers Choice, and WOWOW in Japan, and Premiere Combate and SporTV in Brazil, and via the Internet worldwide on Yahoo! Sports, and commercially through Joe Hand Promotions in the U.S. and Canadastar in Canada.  In addition to its North American distribution, UFC programming is distributed in over 100 countries and territories throughout the world.

 

Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Ultimate Fighting®, UFC®, The Ultimate Fighter®, Submission®, As Real As It Gets®, Zuffa® , The Octagon™ and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks, registered service marks, trademarks, trade dress and/or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC and licensed to its affiliated entities and other licensees in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC, its affiliates or other respective owners.

D. White on WEC 41

June 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: MMA News 

Wanderlei picks Urijah Faber to win his WEC 41 fight against Mike Brown. Wandy also gives a prediction for his fight with Franklin at UFC 99… either he will get knocked out, Rich will get knocked out, or it will be a war. Dana stops by TUF 10 production to talk with Rampage and get his prediction on the WEC Featherweight Title fight. He picks Urijah. Rashad also picks Urijah. However, Gray Maynard and Tyson Griffin both pick Brown.

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      There are few superlatives left to describe Bernard Hopkins, the nearly half-century old fighter still going strong at age 49. But brilliant works.
      Dan Rafael