The event marked the final fight of former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner before his untimely death in the Paolo Verde, California desert. In spite of a close split-decision loss to Kendall Grove on the card, Tanner would give perhaps his last and most harrowing interview that provided an eerie foreboding soundbite that fans will forever make wonder if it was in reference to his career or his troubled life. “I’m feeling off, flat, can’t move. Maybe it’s…you know…Maybe my day is done.”
The event also saw the first TUF winner with no professional fighting experience crowned. Amir Sadollah, who has since racked up a respectable 5-2 record in the Octagon defeated the more seasoned former Arizona State wrestling standout CB Dollaway by first round submission.
One of the night’s winners, Diego Sanchez, would make an ill-fated decision he may now regret in retrospective. Following his win over Luigi Florvanti, Diego announced that he would be dropping to light weight to take a run at a title in the lighter class. After racking up a pair of wins over Joe Stevenson and CLay Guida, “The Nightmare,” as he was known back then, lost via decisive fifth-round TKO stoppage to then-lightweight champion BJ Penn at UFC 107. After a one-year stint as a lightweight, the TUF 1 middleweight winner decided to move back up to welterweight where he has since compiled a 2-1 record with a loss to John Hathaway and a pair of wins over Martin Kampmann and Paulo Thiago.
Spike TV announced today a 10-hour marathon on Sunday, June 26th, featuring fight cards with UFC middleweight turned welterweight Nate Marquardt. However, the event runs directly parallel to the Marquardt-headlined live event on Versus, UFC on Versus 4…The event culminates with a re-broadcast of UFC Fight Night 22, which was headlined by Nate Marquardt vs. Rousimar Palhares…
Coincidentally, this marathon directly overlaps with a live Marquardt-headlined UFC event on the Versus channel, UFC on Versus 4 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. Marquardt faces Rick Story in the main event as part of his welterweight debut…
According to Ortiz, the UFC was ready to let him go after his UFC 121 loss to Matt Hamill, but instead urged the former UFC light heavyweight champion to follow in the footsteps of longtime nemesis Chuck Liddell and retire to save them the trouble of sending him to the unemployment line. Tito says he basically begged Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta for one more kick at the cat and they begrudgingly agreed, throwing him in against a young lion in Ryan Bader at UFC 132.
“Dana White and Joe Silva [the UFC's matchmaker] told me they wanted me to retire, but I knew I still had the fight inside me. I pretty much begged for my job, to show how much I want to fight, but I still have it in my heart to compete, to fight,” he told the UK Telegraph. I told them I want to still fight against the top guys, I want to put on a show. I’ve just turned 36, but when they put me against the top guys, I think I can still compete.”
TapouT’s Mike Straka recently caught up with Frankie Edgar to see how the UFC lightweight champ’s back rehab is coming along and an interesting nugget came out of the conversation. Apparently Edgar’s New Jersey-based boxing trainer Mark Henry was calling for the towel to be thrown in during the trouncing Edgar took in his January 1 UFC 125 bout with Gray Maynard.
Edgar said that Henry’s emotions got the best of him, and he mistakenly says it wouldn’t have mattered had he thrown in the towel as it isn’t a recognized gesture in the UFC. I guess “The Answer” never saw Royce Gracie’s corner throw in the towel prior to the start of his bout with Harold Howard at UFC 3.
Technically, the towel throw is a foul that is usually punishable by the opposing fighter being awarded the win due to disqualification.
Here’s the list of fouls under UFC rules:
1. Butting with the head. 2. Eye gouging of any kind. 3. Biting. 4. Hair pulling. 5. Fish hooking. 6. Groin attacks of any kind. 7. Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent. 8. Small joint manipulation. 9. Striking to the spine or the back of the head. 10. Striking downward using the point of the elbow. 11. Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea. 12. Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh. 13. Grabbing the clavicle. 14. Kicking the head of a grounded opponent. 15. Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent. 16. Stomping a grounded opponent. 17. Kicking to the kidney with the heel. 18. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck. 19. Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area. 20. Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent. 21. Spitting at an opponent. 22. Engaging in an unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent. 23. Holding the ropes or the fence. 24. Using abusive language in the ring or fenced area. 25. Attacking an opponent on or during the break. 26. Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee. 27. Attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the period of unarmed combat. 28. Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee. 29. Timidity, including, without limitation, avoiding contact with an opponent, intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece or faking an injury. 30. Interference by the corner. 31. Throwing in the towel during competition.
In other words, Edgar lucked out that Henry didn’t have a towel, or he may have lost his belt. Instead, he roared back to eke out a draw against Maynard and ensured a rematch.
The transcript of the interview is after the jump for those who can’t watch the video.
“You know what, it was not the most exciting, but in terms of from where I was at, it was perfect. Basically, I put him on ground, and after I started feeling him out, feeling his energy underneath me, I knew that he had a lot of umph, he had a lot of guts, he had a lot of gusto, so any opening, any transition, any big movement, it was going to be met by a lot of explosive force.
We could then end up in some scrambles, spend energy I don’t want to, it’s unnecessary, so instead, get him bucking, get him using that energy. And I have quite heavy hips, which is a very common staple of catch-as-catch-can [wrestling], wearing people out — not just with strikes or submissions or holds — but with your overall body positioning.
Props to TheGarv for digging up these ’70s/’80s-era photos of UFC president Dana White. Obviously the money shot is that pic in the top right, in which a young DW does his best to smile through the pain of a Prince Valiant haircut and some obvious facial trauma. “Damn you, hair,” we imagine Young Dana saying. “I wish you would disappear…forever!” And now you know the rest of the story.
(Yeah, we know that’s a different Diaz, but that doesn’t make the message any less valid. Props: jaylibbb)
After suffering back-to-back decision defeats in his last two fights against Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald, Nate Diaz will be dropping back to his original home at lightweight, according to UFC.com. Diaz’s return opponent will be Japanese MMA icon Takanori Gomi at UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage, September 24th in Denver. Gomi is coming off a submission loss to Clay Guida at UFC 125 in January, and has gone 1-2 overall in his current stint with the UFC.
Nate’s brother Nick previously faced Gomi at PRIDE 33 in one of the greatest bouts in MMA history; Diaz wore Gomi down in a gritty slugfest before tapping him in round 2 via gogoplata. The win was overturned and ruled a no-contest when Diaz tested positive for marijuana in a post-fight drug test. But come on, bro, we all saw what happened.
Genghis Con continues his campaign to make you like Mondays, as the second episode of his web-doc Miami Hustle dropped right on schedule. This episode follows decorated Cuban wrestler Alexis Vila as he prepares for his ninth pro MMA fight at flyweight. The episode starts with the final stages of sweating just before weigh-ins, and ends with his fight with OKC-based Lewis McKenzie at MFA New Generation 4 in February. Vila is an impressive talent, and don’t be surprised if you hear his name pop up when people start talking about the UFC’s plans at 125 pounds.
As with pretty much everything Genghis Con does, this is completely worth the time to sit down and watch. The two-man film crew managed to catch some funny stuff, not the least of which is Vila’s girlfriend stunningly bad timing to start with “I need to lose some weight…” Considering that she’s talking to a wrestler — an Olympic wrestler at that — and a pro fighter who’d just weighed in hours before, she’s not going to get much sympathy about how hard it is to shed ten pounds.
(History has proven that it’s tough to look good when your opponent wants a jiu-jitsu match, no matter how good you are.)
Alistair Overeem was on “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani today and the Strikeforce heavyweight champion addressed the glut of MMA fans and analysts who disagree with him winning his heavyweight grand prix quarterfinal bout with Fabrico Werdum Saturday night. According to “The Demolition Man,” just because Werdum connected with more shots in the bout, doesn’t mean he won the fight, like many claim.
“I won the fight but I was not satisfied. I didn’t get a KO. I worked hard and when I look at the fight, I did dominate him. I stuck to the game plan but you have to give credit to Fabricio; he was prepared. He was not going to get suckered into my game, which is the stand-up and he got me out of my game. His takedowns were not successful, but I think he trained hard for this fight. He really wanted to win,” he explained. “I felt his power and he was there to win. I’m not impressed with his striking. He does not hit hard. He was using his strikes to set up his takedowns, but there was no damage. I was annoyed. When you look at a fight, who’s more dominant? You can see who’s more dominant.”