Saturday, April 30, 2011
Saturday June 4, 2011
Pearl at the Palms
Las Vegas, NV
Airing on Spike
* Anthony Pettis (#9 Ranked Lightweight) vs. Clay Guida
* Finalist No. 1 vs. Finalist No. 2
* Jonathan Brookins vs. Jeremy Stephens
* Josh Grispi vs. George Roop
* Tim Credeur vs. Ed Herman
* Scott Jorgensen (#6 Ranked Bantamweight) vs. Ken Stone
* Fabio Maldonado vs. Kyle Kingsbury
* Reuben Duran vs. Francisco Rivera
Jason "Mayhem" Miller's return to the Octagon will take place in July, as he battles Aaron Simpson at UFC 132. The UFC announced the Miller-Simpson fight on Saturday, a day after Miller's signing with the UFC was confirmed.
There's no word yet on whether Miller-Simpson will be on the pay-per-view card, but it would be an ideal fight for a Spike TV preliminary bout. Thanks to his brash personality and his status as host of MTV's Bully Beatdown, Miller was one of the most famous mixed martial artists outside the UFC, and his presence on a basic-cable bout would draw some eyeballs and likely reel in some casual fans to make a last-minute pay-per-view purchase.
See, it was a brilliant move to give Chuck Liddell an office in the Las Vegas headquarters of Zuffa. The new Vice President of Business Development can act, book the biggest and best for mega-fights and if you need someone KO'd in the break room, he's still got it!
This is funny stuff from Liddell and the UFC. The best line comes from Liddell "conversation" with Tito Ortiz.
"I'm not sure Ortiz-Machida II is what the fans want," Liddell said. "Ain't happening Tito, no one likes you."
To no one's surprise Tito tweeted that the acting sucked.
Dana White chimed in later to try and calm down Ortiz.
Ortiz replied with a "thanks" and then Tito's wife Jenna Jameson got wind of it this morning. Look out!
Then DW flipped on Jenna.
Liddell also knocks out a co-worker for several slips of the tongue. He reminded us of Mike Tyson in The Hangover (NSFW).
UFC 129 ?St. Pierre vs. Shields? Pre-Fight Interviews: Bocek, MacDonald, MacDonald, Patrick, Jabouin
Friday, April 29, 2011
Fernando Vargas is out, now Cesar Gracie says Nick Diaz and company are working on a boxing match with Jeff Lacy. But there may be a new wildcard in this effort to get the Strikeforce 170-pound champion a boxing match. The talk of a crossover fight has piqued the interest of boxing promoter Lou DiBella.
DiBella told Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole that response from MMA fans via email and Twitter about the possibility of a Sergio Martinez-Diaz fight has been overwhelming. DiBella has embarked on a fact-finding mission to see if he can really match his star middleweight champ against Diaz.
Why would a top three pound-for-pound boxer waste his time fighting someone like Diaz, with little professional boxing experience? Sadly, DiBella can't find Martinez (47-2, 26 KOs) a top-notch opponent or a network to take the fight. Martinez is coming off one-sided victories where he dismantled and finished Paul Williams and Serhiy Zdinziruk. While they are plenty of intriguing fights out there at 154 and 160 for Martinez, nothing has materialized. HBO turned down a Martinez-Sebastian Zbik fight in lieu of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. versus Zbik on June 4.
Diaz has long talked about wanting to box. He again complained about his MMA career during a postfight interview with HDNet following his victory over Paul Daley.
"They don't have anyone else for me to fight now. I'm better than all the guys they have," Diaz said. "The guys they have ranked above me, I'm sure they don't want to fight me. I don't see much of a future in this sport for me. I seriously don't."
Gracie told the network that Diaz wants to box, signed a deal to fight former world champion Fernando Vargas and was awaiting a response from Vargas' camp (0:35 mark). Now it looks like Vargas' comeback is in jeopardy because of undisclosed medical issues.
DiBella said he planned on reaching out to UFC president Dana White and Gracie to inquire about Diaz's ability to sign a boxing deal.
The television ideas for a possible Martinez-Diaz fight range anywhere from finding a spot on a cable television network to putting it on pay-per-view. Making the fight an eight-round exhibition is also a possibility.
As far as Diaz's MMA contract, Gracie said his fighter did not sign a special provisional deal with Zuffa. Gracie hasn't spoken to Strikeforce's Scott Coker about the topic.
"I don't even know how much in charge of things he is any more," Gracie said. "Ultimately, it's going to have to go through the UFC, so the only people to talk about it with would be them. What am I going to talk to Scott about? He doesn't own anything any more."
According to Gracie, Diaz's MMA contract has been "re-worked" and he's now free to box. Stay tuned on this one.
Monday, April 18, 2011
ROUNDTABLE: Should Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping be given coaching slots on The Ultimate Fighter 14? Hansen, Hobaugh, Hyden, Marsh, Park, Bacior, Williams, Carter and Penick
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Bisping and Sonnen are two separate cases, so let's handle them individually.
Should Bisping coach?� Sure, why not?� His biggest sin is being a bit of a wanker from time to time (Hey Mr Park, did I get that right?� It's 'wanker', right?).� People will watch him becase he doesn't have go-away heat, he has people-will-pay-to-see-him-get-his-ass-beat heat (Hey Mr. Keller, did I get that right?� It's 'go-away heat' and 'people-will-pay-to-see-him-get-his-ass-beat heat', right?).
Should Sonnen coach?� This is a harder question to ask.� First of all, it might be a moot point, because there's no guarantee he can get licensed in Nevada anyhow.� The main objection to his coaching, other than whether he can get licensed, seems to be of the moral/ethical variety.� I tend to be passionately laissez-faire, personally.� And yes, I know that is a paradox.��
So, all that said, I think drug cheats should be suspended by commissions for a year, and that promotions should not award title shots for a full year after that.� And yes, I know that I said promotions in the plural, as if there's more than one promotion anymore.� But it won't affect my life at all if he coaches, so go ahead, coach, ya hoser.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think they will be fine coaches. Chael Sonnen's recent trouble with steroids and tax evasion charges will make the show's ratings better. I hate that, but it's all about the ratings. His crazy and inappropriate rants will be television gold. �Michael Bisping's recent feud with Jorge Rivera and spitting at his corner in their fight will only make the TUF show bigger. I think these two are the most likely to coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. They should also have a great fight when the show is over.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
In a word, no. In two words, hell no. There's no way that Chael Sonnen should be given a coaching slot of TUF 14. He's bad news. At this point, I don't think Michael Bisping should be given another coaching gig either. You can have them fight, but the UFC isn't Extra or Entertainment Tonight, you can't have these Charlie Sheen-types who spout off verbal diarrhea and say outrageous things just for publicity. That's all Sonnen is at this point, he's so delusional it's not funny anymore. Yeah, the first episode might be somewhat entertaining, but his shtick gets old really fast. Almost any other two choices would be better.
GRIFFIN MARSH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Not in a million years. �Why should a proven liar, cheater and financial criminal be given a spot coaching on the biggest show in MMA? �I have no issues with Bisping coaching (granted it's only because I want to see him get punched) but not someone with the character of Chael Sonnen.
CHRIS PARK, MMATORCH UK SPECIALIST
The speculation of a super fight between Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre - to decide pound for pound best fighter on the planet - has left the lay of the land at 185 lbs. a little lack-lustre to say the least.
With Yushin Okami the next middleweight in line for a shot at Silva, the UFC needs to line up one or two challengers to follow Okami.
Michael Bisping looks close to getting the nod, while Chael Sonnen put an absolute beating on The Spider - before being submitted late in the fifth round - and so he himself deserves another shot at gold.
Both Bisping and Sonnen are brash characters who love to trash talk and to pit these two against one another on TUF makes perfect sense on so many levels.
It would be clear that their eventual bout would be a title eliminator and the filming of the season, the fight itself, and any subsequent recovery time would occupy these men while the top of the division levels itself out.
On top of all of that; imagine the television gold that these two would generate should they be thrown into the TUF minefield together.
Their war of words has been quite heated in the past so one could only imagine the outcome should this set of circumstances come to fruition.
MIKE BACIOR, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Yes. It's probably fairly well known that I am a big fan of Sonnen, but in any case I think it would make for some excellent trash talk.
ALEX WILLIAMS, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
No.� Money-wise, yeah, it's a good call by the UFC.� Chael Sonnen vs. Michael Bisping, with TUF build-up, should sell well on PPV.� But Sonnen used illegal performance enhancers.� He boosted his abilities with drugs that may compromise his longterm health.� As an individual citizen, he should be able to make that choice, but not if he's competing in a combat sport where his opponents, if they want to even the playing field, are forced to take serious risks with their own health.� In a just world (which, you know, is the one with me in charge), Sonnen doesn't get this fame and pay day.
ALVIN CARTER, MMATORCH SPECIALIST
I have to say Sonnen would make for great TV, and he could give the TUF cast a lot of great wrestling advice, but he might go over the top and offend some viewers. I am less worried about Bisping, but who knows if he will get mad enough to s***-talk Sonnen.
JAMIE PENICK, MMATORCH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
As far as Bisping is concerned, him coaching the next season of The Ultimate Fighter doesn't bother me much. Sure, he crossed a line in spitting at Rivera's corner; he reacted poorly to the pre-fight trash talk and he's apologized and has faced monetary withholding from the UFC.
He's certainly not on Sonnen's level.
After injecting testosterone prior to his bout with Anderson Silva at UFC 117, and believing adequate "disclosure" of TRT was a verbal conversation the day of without filling out proper paperwork or getting it officially cleared through proper channels - if it indeed was a legitimately and medically necessary treatment - Sonnen remained unapologetic about the entire situation, and only got his suspension reduced from the CSAC because they didn't do their jobs despite Sonnen providing zero evidence to warrant the reduction of the suspension.
Add to that the fact that he made even more false claims regarding Keith Kizer and having been cleared for TRT in Nevada, he simply shouldn't be given this high profile slot. He got his slap on the wrist and can get back in the cage if the UFC wants to book him, but getting this added exposure isn't a spot the UFC should give him.
Foster Tweeted his removal from the card on Tuesday, saying, "I'm sorry to all my fans but I won't be fighting in Toronto. My MRI came back and [I was told I] have a brain hemorrhage! I'm so sorry."
The welterweight fighter has gone 3-2 in five fights in the UFC, and is currently on a two-fight winning streak. All three of his wins have come by stoppage, and this bout was to be his first since defeating Matt Brown at UFC 123 in November.
Foster's manager and trainer at the H.I.T. Squad, Marc Fiore, explained the injury in comments made to MMAJunkie.com.
"A blood vessel broke open, started bleeding, and turned into a brain hemorrhage," Fiore said. "Our doctor and the UFC doctor said they won't clear him to fight.
"It should heal on its own, and if it's good, he's cleared to fight. If not, then we have to obviously (look at surgical options)."
The MRI was done as part of the required pre-fight medical exams for Ontario's athletic commission prior to UFC 129. The organization is currently seeking a replacement for Pierson on the card, which takes place on April 30 from the Rogers Centre, headlined by the Welterweight Championship fight between Georges St. Pierre and Jake Shields.
Penick's Analysis: The good news is that this was found out before it could turn into anything more serious. Unfortunately, it still means he can't fight on the card and will have to hope this heals on it's own so he doesn't need to undergo brain surgery. It's a very unfortunate loss to the card, as Foster has been a lot of fun to watch inside the Octagon, and this would have been a very good undercard fight. Still, his safety is the most important part of the issue, and again it's nothing but a good thing that this was found out before he got into the cage again.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Saturday May 7
First Council Casino
Airing on MTV2
* Rick Hawn vs. Jay Hieron (welterweight tourney final)
The event takes place tomorrow night at Cocopah Resort and Casino in Yuma, Arizona. In the main-event of the evening, reigning featherweight champion Joe Warren will meet in a catch-weight bout of 136-pounds against WEC veteran and former top-10 fighter Marcos Galvao, a touted Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu [...]
UFC, Bud Light bringing "Battle on the Bayou" to New Orleans in September on Spike TV as part of official sponsorship renewal (UPDATED)
The deal will keep the Bud Light logo prominently placed in the center of the Octagon at UFC events, and they will now be a feature sponsor of four pay-per-view events a year.
In addition to the sponsorship renewal, the UFC and Bud Light will team up to present one special promotional event per year. The first such event will take place on Spike TV on Saturday, September 17 in New Orleans, with the event being dubbed the "Battle on the Bayou."
MMA fans will have a chance to win a weekend event with the "Battle on the Bayou" national sweepstakes, a three-day, two-night UFC fan experience in New Orleans for the event. The sweepstakes winner will win access to the weigh-ins downtown, an exclusive concert and meet-and-greets with UFC personalities.
The sweepstakes opens up on May 2, and fans 21 and older can enter at www.Facebook.com/BudLight or through UFC-branded Snap Tags on Bud Light point-of-sale materials.
"Bud Light's first three years with the UFC have focused largely on growing awareness and viewership of the sport at bars, restaurants and all the other places Bud Light is sold across the country," said Mark Wright, vice president of media, sports & entertainment marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. in today's release. "Having brought the UFC to more people, we want to start bringing more people to the UFC by creating exclusive fan experiences only Bud Light and the UFC can deliver. 'Battle on the Bayou' is a first and unprecedented step in that direction."
"Bud Light's sponsorship deal with us a few years ago was a milestone for our organization and the sport," said Dana White, UFC President. "We couldn't be more excited about working with Bud Light and continuing our strong relationship."
Bud Light branding will continue to be prominent at all UFC live events and functions, and they will also now be integrated into the UFC's digital platforms on Facebook, YouTube and UFC.com. In addition, Bud Light will be releasing a limited edition UFC aluminum bottle, which will be the first such Bud Light bottle to feature the UFC's logo.
UPDATE: The initial press release stated more than 5,000 fans would attend the event courtesy of Bud Light, but it has been corrected as a number has not yet been determined for sweepstakes winners and more information will be coming on that front in the future.
"Better late than never, verbal agreements are in for what should be an action-packed match between Alessio Sakara and Jorge Rivera at UFC 133," UFC President Dana White said in the promotion's announcement.
UFC 133 hasn't been formally announced, but it's expected to take place on August 6 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
An injury has forced Jon Fitch to pull out of his July 2 bout with B.J. Penn.
Maybe it's a blessing in disguise. Plenty of fans seemed lukewarm on the Fitch-Penn rematch at UFC 132.� The UFC has an opportunity to come up with a something that'll get the juices flowing for its big Fourth of July weekend card.
Finding a fill-in isn't as easy as you'd think. The UFC has almost every fighter in the world under contract, yet its welterweight division doesn't have a ton of choices for Penn.
If healthy, Carlos Condit would be a great. The 26-year-old is now seven months removed from his devastating knockout of Dan Hardy. Because of an injury, he had to pull out of a UFC 127 fight with Chris Lytle. Condit would take the Penn fight, but his knee sounds like it may still be an issue.
"I dislocated a joint in my knee cap and did a lot of damage so I pull out of the fight.� I have been rehabbing and trying to get my knee back in order.� I was sparring today, I have been training all week and it still hurts, but it's healed for the most part," [Condit told MMADieHards.com. ...]
"If I get the call and they offer me the fight, I definitely would be up for that fight, I think it would be an honor to fight B.J.� I would be fighting a huge legend so I think it would put a little pressure on me, (but) there's only one way to find out."
"I'm staying in shape and trying to keep my weight down," Johnson [told MMADieHards.com]. "Right now I'm only about 200 pounds, but I'm full of water right now. When I run I sweat so much it looks like I just got out of a swimming pool, so if they were to tell me I have a fight in a month I know I'd be ready.�The weight would be easy to come off, I'm good to go."
Johnson indicated that money might be a concern if he was offered a fight against the legendary Penn.
"Hell, if I fight B.J. they're for sure going to have to renegotiate my contract," said Johnson.� "If the opportunity was presented, would I take a fight like that? Yeah.� I don't say no to fights and I like to fight, if I'm winning or not, I still like to fight.� So yeah, I would take that fight."
The only hitch in a Penn-Johnson fight is the potential size disparity. The 165-pound Penn faces that in every welterweight bout, but in Johnson he would battle a guy who walks into the cage as high as 195 pounds on fight night.
Who else could step up by July? Let's throw in a wild card in Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz. If he dominates Paul Daley this weekend, does Dana White think Diaz is "ready to play the game?"
Thiago Alves is scheduled to fight Rick Story at UFC 130. He could be moved back five weeks. There's also the possibility of a Diego Sanchez rematch, but that appears to a be long shot with the injuries he suffered at UFC on Versus 3 and the fact that the matchup down at lightweight was so one-sided.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
HDNet released a short preview for Friday's Inside MMA program, in which Diaz went off on the state of MMA, and his manager Cesar Gracie revealed that Diaz's next fight is likely to come as a boxing match.
"[Strikeforce] doesn't have anybody else for me to fight right now, I'm better than all these guys they have," Diaz said. "The guys they have ranked above me, I'm sure they don't want to fight me. I don't see much of a future in this sport for me. I honestly don't, especially if there's not a whole s*** load of money going on."
"I'm signed into a contract I don't know anything about. I don't know anything about that s***, I have a manager. All I know is my life is a living hell full of training, grueling exercise, train every day, cater to everybody else and not worry about myself sort of thing."
Gracie said they've already signed on for a boxing match with Fernando Vargas in September or October and are waiting back to hear from his camp. Also, Gracie says unless Dana White offers Diaz a fight with Anderson Silva, his next fight will be in boxing. However, he then told MMAWeekly.com that the Vargas fight is off and they're looking at former IBF super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy.
The full situation will be discussed on Friday's edition of Inside MMA, airing on HDNet.
Penick's Analysis: Nick Diaz is a frustrating character. For as good as he is in the cage and for as fun as he is to watch, he can be a complete headache when it comes to things like this. This is likely a negotiating tactic to try to up his value to Zuffa by letting them know he's got other options than MMA, but I'm not sure what the end game will be here. He signed on for a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce when he knew he was the man in the division there. He knew he wouldn't have a string of guys for him to fight, and with the UFC not wanting to look like they're just picking fighters off of the Strikeforce roster, they're not super eager to bring guys out of the organization, so now if Diaz leaves the new sister brand to the UFC loses its biggest star. I hope they can find a way to get Diaz an opponent, but for now it looks like he's going to be hard headed about this issue, and that's not good for fans who enjoy seeing him in the cage.
Additionally, "The Ultimate Fighter 13" correspondent Chris Cope calls in, and The Gun Store owner and MMAjunkie.com Radio sponsor Chris Irwin swings by the studio.
MMAjunkie.com Radio airs from 12-2 p.m. ET (9-11 a.m. PT) live from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino's Race & Sports Book. Listen to and watch a video stream of the two-hour show at www.mmajunkie.com/radio.
Tony Johnson, Jr., a former King of the Cage Heavyweight Champ and former wrestler at Iowa State, brings a 5-1 record into his Bellator debut at Bellator 41 later this month. Johnson will meet undefeated heavyweight Carlos Flores on April 16 in Yuma, Ariz.
"Tony is a fighter we have had our eye on for quite some time," said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. "He's one of the top heavyweight prospects in the world right now, and will make a great addition to our already impressive heavyweight lineup."
Johnson began his MMA career in 2008, winning his first four fights before suffering a submission loss at the hands of Strikeforce standout and former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier in August of 2010. He enters Bellator having rebounded with a decision win over Boban Simic last November.
"I definitely want to be a part of the next Bellator Heavyweight Tournament," said Johnson. "I think it would be a great opportunity for me. It would mean everything to me to become the next Bellator Heavyweight Champion."
"I can only improve. I plan on getting better and better every time I enter that cage. I feel in my heart like I'm able to compete with the best heavyweights out there, and now it's time for me to prove it. I'm ready for it. I'm ready to take that next challenge."
EDIT: Bellator's press release touted Johnson as a four-time All-American at Ohio State. Johnson attended Iowa State and was not an All-American wrestler.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Fresh off a win over Sean McCorkle at UFC Fight Night 24, Christian Morecraft will get right back into action in June when he meets former NFL player and Ultimate Fighter 10 alum Matt Mitrione.
Morecraft is now 1-1 in the UFC after the victory over McCorkle. His first fight in the Octagon was going well, as he had battered and bloodied Stefan Struve for five minutes at UFC 117 last August. However, early in the second round he got overzealous in a punching exchange with the 6'11" Struve, and was knocked out in vicious fashion.
Mitrione, on the other hand, has had nothing but success since entering the UFC. The former New York Giant and Minnesota Viking had never had a pro fight prior to The Ultimate Fighter, but has won four straight fights inside the Octagon since the show finished. His latest win came at UFC Fight for the Troops 2, where he knocked out Tim Hague in the first round of their bout.
Cagewriter already wrote about the three biggest fight stars from Strikeforce's show on Saturday night, but we can agree that the true breakout star from the fights was referee Mike Beltran and his mustache.
That is a work of art. He could braid his mustache into a loop, and have his own facial door knocker. He could tie each end in a bow across his mouth to protest censorship, saving money on duct tape. He could attach his glasses to his mustache, thereby eliminating the need for a glasses chain. He could have signaled the draw in the Mousasi-Jardine match by holding up both ends of the mustache.
After the death of Steve Mazzagatti's mustache, the MMA world was in search of fantastic facial hair to take its place. Sure, Antonio Banuelos stepped up, but we needed more. Thanks, Mike Beltran, for filling that need.
UPDATE: Tracy Lee shared a picture of the 'stache in action from one of the undercard fights. Dare I say, it is glorious.
Spike TV officials today emailed the ratings information to MMAjunkie.com.
The numbers mark a slight increase from the second episode, which drew 1.2 million viewers, but a continued decrease from the season debut, which netted 1.5 million viewers.
This latest gem doesn't sound like Nick Diaz is "playing the game." as Dana White requested last year.
Outside the cage, that means the Strikeforce welterweight champ, has to show up for drug tests and fulfill some of his media responsibilities. Do that and there could be huge paydays awaiting him in the UFC. Oh, and one more thing ... don't sign boxing contracts.
The constantly displeased Diaz told HDNet there's no one for him to fight in Strikeforce and his life is a living hell. His trainer Cesar Gracie says the MMA star has signed a deal to fight former world champion boxer Fernando Vargas in September. Gracie says the Diaz camp is just waiting for Vargas, 33, to sign the contract.
This is an interesting development since Scott Coker has basically indicated Diaz can't box while under contract with Strikeforce.
Vargas claims he's making a comeback and told ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto in January that he had his weight down to 187 pounds. If his goal is to make a run at a world title again, why would Vargas risk his reputation by fighting someone from the MMA world? Who wants to bet this "dream" fight never comes off?
"It would be the perfect place to do my last fight. I never fought in Rio de Janeiro and I couldn't be more psyched. We are negotiating [the fight deal], but we should have it finalized in two weeks. We only had an initial contact and I don't even have an opponent yet, but we should have that finalized soon ... My weight is the same as it was twenty years ago [80kg], I am still training, keeping the blade sharp. I follow a very strict diet. I never drank, never party, Carnaval, none of that... I'm ready to fight"<br><br>
Props: <a href=http://esporte.uol.com.br/lutas/vale-tudo/ultimas-noticias/2011/04/12/royce-gracie-lenda-do-mma-negocia-aposentadoria-no-ufc-rio.jhtm>UOL Esportes</a> (via <a href=http://www.bloodyelbow.com>Bloody Elbow</a>)
Thursday, April 14, 2011
MMAjunkie.com today received the list of disclosed paydays from the California State Athletic Commission.
The total disclosed payroll for the April 9 Showtime-televised event, which took place at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, was $769,740
*HW* Jeff Monson, Record 41-11(4-3 in...
Ring, an American-born Canadian fighter, made his official UFC debut in February in Australia after returning from knee surgery, and picked up a controversial unanimous decision win over Riki Fukuda in a fight most felt Fukuda won. Still technically undefeated, Ring will look to get a more convincing win his second time out.
Head makes his UFC debut with a 7-1 record, having most recently defeated UFC veteran Gerald Harris in February.
UFC 131 takes place from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on June 11. The card is headlined by the heavyweight bout between Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos.
With some of their behavior in and out of the cage, they've both painted themselves into a corner . But in the end, it's their chops that probably landed both Nick Diaz and Paul Daley in a position where the UFC told them to go bye-bye. In a strange twist, both will be collecting a check tomorrow night from Zuffa, their old boss, as they square in the main event of Strikeforce in San Diego (Showtime 10 p.m. ET/PT).
Yahoo!'s lead MMA writer Kevin Iole joined us to talk about the sins of the past and what mistakes may turn out to be most easily forgiven.
Who has a better shot at securing a long future with the UFC - Daley or Diaz? Or maybe the answer is neither and they might be just fine with that.
The benchmark sponsor for MMA is back on board with the UFC. Dana White points to big fights, like Forrest�Griffin versus Stephan Bonnar,�as a turning point in the company's history, but he'll also tell you that the day back in 2008 when Anheiser-Busch puts its dollars and marketing behind the promotion just before UFC 82, changed everything in the most important areas -advertising potential and the sport's perception in the business world.�The companies have extended and expanded their relationship with multi-year deal announced today.
"Bud Light's sponsorship deal with us a few years ago was a milestone for our organization and the sport," White said.� "We couldn't be more excited about working with Bud Light and continuing our strong relationship."
Major sponsor may seem commonplace now, but in 2007 getting the nod from Bud Light was huge.
"I still don't think we're mainstream, but this is huge -- every year we've taken it to another level," said White.
White said that A-B will aid in event marketing and that�the deal gives UFC "more power in garnering television deals by bringing the major sponsor with them to the table." Bud Light joins Harley Davidson as the company's "major blue-chip sponsors" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/28).�CNBC's Darren Rovell wrote the deal "is huge." Rovell: "For all that UFC was -- the pay-per-view dollars and the merchandising -- it wasn't for blue chip brands. Well, that's not the case anymore" (CNBC.com, 2/28).
The new deal with Bud Light includes upping the featured sponsorship of events from two to four pay-per-views each year.
Bud Light is also going to help present one special event each year. In 2011, the UFC will hold a Spike TV card in New Orleans on Sept. 17. The UFC announced a special promotion in conjunction with the event:
Bud Light is extending the New Orleans event beyond the fight night with the "Battle on the Bayou" national sweepstakes*, a three-day, two-night UFC fan experience in the Big Easy ? complete with weigh-ins downtown, an exclusive concert and meet-and-greets with UFC personalities.� Beginning May 2, fans 21 and older can enter to a win a trip for two to the "Battle on the Bayou" online at www.Facebook.com/BudLight or through UFC-branded Snap Tags on Bud Light point-of-sale materials.
Mark Wright with Anheiser-Busch is fired up about the partnership on these new fan experiences:
"Bud Light's first three years with the UFC have focused largely on growing awareness and viewership of the sport at bars, restaurants and all the other places Bud Light is sold across the country," said�Wright, vice president of media, sports & entertainment marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc.� "Having brought the UFC to more people, we want to start bringing more people to the UFC by creating exclusive fan experiences only Bud Light and the UFC can deliver.� 'Battle on the Bayou' is a first and unprecedented step in that direction."
Along with tons of Bud Light brand placement before, during and after UFC events, the company is� releasing a limited edition UFC aluminum bottle.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
For those wondering, this is not a work and is 100% the real deal. This was the talk backstage at RAW during the evening hours. Edge has been losing feeling in his arms and was advised by doctors to retire from in-ring action. According to a source, Edge underwent some medical tests recently and they came back within the last few days revealing that there were ...
I'll admit it. Thirteen seasons into the UFC's reality show on Spike, and I'm feeling a little bit of "The Ultimate Fighter" fatigue. The show has been on since 2005, and it's hard to keep any TV show fresh for six years. (Except "Law and Order." How dare they take Jack McCoy off the air?)
But then I thought about the specifics of this season, and realizing that the fatigue I'm feeling can be easily squashed by the time the show debuts at 9 p.m. ET on Spike Wednesday night. Why should you tune in?
5. New start time: Just in time for the UFC to change the start time of the pay-per-view events, TUF is bumping its start time up an hour. The change may seem small, but now you'll have that much more time to return to Cagewriter and discuss the show before heading to bed.
4. A closer look at some of the best coaches in MMA: No, I'm not talking about Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos. Their assistant coaches are some of the best in the business, but relatively unknown by fight fans. Erik Paulson, Marty Morgan, Luiz Dorea and Billy Scheibe will all get a chance to show how they helped Lesnar and dos Santos reach elite levels of MMA.
3. Guest coach potential is off the charts: With dos Santos and Lesnar's connections and training partners, there is good reason to hope for fun cameos throughout the season. Jose Aldo, Anderson Silva, Pat Barry and the Nogueira brothers could all stop in. I really want Lesnar to pull in his buddies from the WWE days to teach his team about the fine art of selling a fight.
2. Watch dos Santos figure out how to be a star: Dos Santos has said that he just followed Lesnar's lead in dealing with the cameras. An interesting storyline throughout the season will be seeing if dos Santos is comfortable as not just a fighter, but a star in MMA.
1. Lesnar's response to a loss will be televised: With his out-of-the-way training camp and surly attitude, outsiders don't often get a close look at the former champ. When they do, it's quite often posturing. But with cameras following Lesnar for several weeks, it's likely they will capture his true response to losing his championship belt to Cain Velasquez. That will be riveting television.
Are you planning to tune in tonight? Tell us about it in the comments or on Facebook.