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Tag: Dan Henderson

Dana White Talks UFC’s Mob Troubles, Next TUF Coach


(Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.)

I’ve always assumed that the worlds of professional fighting and organized crime came into contact more often than we know. I’ve also assumed that if you’re involved in either industry, it’s probably better not to talk about that contact. But Dana White, being the UFC president and the producer of an upcoming Spike TV Irish mob drama, is just putting it in the streets anyway.

Fighters Only quotes White as blaming the Yakuza for Zuffa’s inability to do anything with Pride. This is no big shock, since the Japanese mafia’s involvement with Pride was rumored to be a big part of their downfall. It is a little surprising that White is so willing to talk about it, however, and apparently it’s not just Japan where the mob is an issue:

The UFC has also long had its eye on staging events in Mexico because, as White puts it, “when we first bought this company, we said there are three no-brainers: the US, Mexico and the UK. They are big fight countries.”

However, what he terms “The Mexican initiative” is taking “a lot longer than we though it would, basically because five families control all of Mexico”.

“A lot of these places are tough, you just have to work your way around it. The corruption in Japan, the way things are in Mexico, you know? In every country you go to there are different ways of doing business.”

Ain’t that the truth. Friend of mine went to the Netherlands over the summer, my hand to God, they sell marijuana over there. Like legally, in coffee shops and stuff. This crazy world, am I right?

Dana White must be in a talkative mood these days, because he also let it slip to Fighters Only that no matter what happens tomorrow night, Michael Bisping will be coaching on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, as we suspected.

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UFC 93 to Air for Free on Spike?

MMA Rated is floating the rumor that UFC 93 from Dublin, Ireland will be shown on a delayed free broadcast on Spike TV on January 17. This makes sense when you consider the UFC’s increasingly consistent practice of using UK cards on Spike as a way to pump up forthcoming pay-per-views, such as they’re doing later this month with UFC 89 airing for free from England just a week before UFC 90 in Chicago, which you’re going to have to pay for.

The only thing that might make us wonder if we won’t end up paying $45 for this one is the fact that the main event for 93 is slated to be a light heavyweight clash between Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin. The card is also said to include Mark Coleman and “Shogun” Rua reprising their meeting in Pride, hopefully this time without the freakish injury and ensuing Hammer House-Chute Boxe brawl (Okay, they can brawl again, but only if they have another uncomfortable “apology” backstage afterwards).

Oddly, January 17 is also the date that Affliction was originally rumored to be considering for their second show. That’s before Tom Atencio said they had no date and admitted he wanted no part of any direct competition with the UFC, which is perfectly understandable. A free show of that magnitude on the same night would have really put Affliction in a bind, but as of right now it looks like they’ll squeak in between the free show from Dublin and a January 31 pay-per-view with (God willing) a Georges St. Pierre-BJ Penn superfight main event.

If this all holds true, UFC 93 might be the best UFC event in a very long time to air for free. And yes, I know Spike TV isn’t technically free since it’s on cable, but come on. You have internet access but no cable? Dude, you gotta move out of your mom’s house.

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UFC 93 in Dublin Officially Announced With Two Marquee Matchups

Mark Coleman Mauricio Shogun Rua PRIDE MMA
(A legendary PRIDE rivalry will be settled in the Octagon in January.)

Confirming rumors that were circulating yesterday, the UFC announced via UFC.com that Dublin would indeed be playing host to UFC 93 on January 17th; the event will be held at the O2 Dublin.

Only two matches have been announced so far — but they’re worth the price of admission by themselves. The main event will be a light-heavyweight fight between Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson, a long-awaited pairing that seemed to be in jeopardy when Franklin moved up to 205. Does this mean that Hendo will be hanging around at light-heavyweight for a while? And would the fight interfere with him being a coach on the upcoming US vs. UK season of TUF? We’ll get those answers to you as soon as we can.

Here’s where the matchmaking gets kind of brilliant. The co-main event will be another light-heavyweight contest, between UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. If you’re up on your MMA lore, you’ll remember that Coleman handed Shogun his only loss in PRIDE — a TKO due to broken arm at PRIDE 31 in February ’06 — which led to the infamous Chute Boxe/Hammer House brawl (the entire incident can be seen here). Now Rua will get a chance to settle the score, once and for all. Sure, Coleman hasn’t fought since getting armbarred by Fedor Emelianenko at PRIDE 32 in October ’06, and Rua has been battling injuries since his loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 76, but you can’t beat that storyline…

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Bisping and Henderson Rumored as ‘TUF 9′ Coaches

Michael Bisping Forrest Griffin UFC MMA ring girls
(Will Michael Bisping follow in Forrest Griffin’s footsteps? Photo courtesy of daylife.com)

From TheSun.co.uk:

Michael Bisping is hot favourite to be named as one of the coaches on the new series of The Ultimate Fighter

The UFC have not yet offered Bisping the coach’s role on TUF 9 because he is scheduled to fight Chris Leben at UFC 89 at the Birmingham National Indoor Arena on October 18.

But SunSport understands Dana White will immediately hand the British star a contract to appear on the show if he overcomes Leben next month.

It is believed Dan Henderson will coach the US team, with the TUF 9 finale featuring him in a clash for the #1 middleweight contender’s spot against Bisping, which could take place in December next year.

As the UFC’s only British star, it makes sense that the TUF 3 winner would be chosen as a coach for the “U.S. vs. U.K.” season of The Ultimate Fighter. But it also makes you wonder who will be picked to lead the British team if Bisping loses to Leben. We’re assuming it would still be Bisping — but then would a fight between him and Hendo really be a #1 contender match? When contacted by MMA Weekly, The Count confirmed that he hadn’t been made an offer yet, but he’d certainly be open to one:

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Chuck Liddell Tops UFC 88 Salaries + Medical Suspensions

UFC Chuck Liddell Rashad Evans MMA
(Couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

Saturday’s UFC 88 card took in $2.6 million in ticket revenue, making it the second-highest-grossing event ever held at Atlanta’s Philips Arena, next to a Barbara Streisand concert in 2006. The fighters at “Breakthrough” pulled in $1,510,000 in disclosed payouts, with a third of that going to knockout recipient Chuck Liddell. The numbers are below. Unless otherwise noted, each winning fighter’s salary represents a doubling of his base pay.

Chuck Liddell: $500,000
Dan Henderson: $250,000 (win bonus was $150,000)
Rashad Evans: $180,000 (including $60,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
Jason MacDonald: $104,000 (including $60,000 Submission of the Night bonus)
Rich Franklin: $100,000
Kurt Pellegrino: $84,000 (including $60,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Thiago Tavares: $73,000 (including $60,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Nate Marquardt: $56,000
Dong Hyun Kim: $46,000
Ryo Chonan: $30,000
Jason Lambert: $17,000
Tim Boetsch: $16,000
Martin Kampmann: $15,000
Matt Hamill: $10,000
Roan Carneiro: $9,000
Matt Brown: $8,000
Rousimar Palhares: $7,000
Michael Patt: $5,000

Underpaid: Not that the dude’s going broke, but it’s surprising that Rich Franklin’s base salary is only $50,000; Rashad Evans makes more than he does (which makes sense now, I suppose). It’s also too bad that someone as talented as Rousimar Palhares couldn’t negotiate better terms when he joined the UFC.

Overpaid: I’d let Evans knock me the eff out for half of what Chuck got for his little two-round appearance. Seriously. Get in touch with my people, Rashad.

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UFC 88: The Highlights


(Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans)


(Nate Marquardt vs. Martin Kampmann)


(Dan Henderson vs. Rousimar Palhares)

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Friday Link Dump: UFC 88 Edition


(Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle.)

- Do some UFC 88 pre-partying with Randy Couture. (Xtreme Couture)

- Mario Sperry betting on a Palhares victory, literally. (Tatame)

- Stone Cold Steve Austin breaks down Kimbo Slice-Ken Shamrock. (YouTube)

- Arguing over UFC 88, Randy’s return, and more. (MMA Rated)

- Martin Kampmann is ready to “kick ass.” (MMA Mania)

- Brock Lesnar got jokes. (Steve Cofield)

- One punch KO’s bully. (Nothing Toxic)

- Jerry Seinfeld/Bill Gates team up to produce something…strange. (Wall Street Fighter)

- Sarah Palin steps up to the mic. (Holy Taco)

- 11 craziest Ann Coulter moments. (Screen Junkies)

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UFC 88 Weigh-In Results; Liveblog Tomorrow Night

Matt Hamill Rich Franklin UFC MMA
(Totes BFFs 4-evs.)

Weigh-ins for “Breakthrough” just went down at the Philips Arena in Atlanta. The numbers are below; props to MMA Mania.

Chuck Liddell (204) vs. Rashad Evans (205)
Rich Franklin (204.5) vs. Matt Hamill (205)
Dan Henderson (185) vs. Rousimar Palhares (184.5)
Nate Marquardt (185) vs. Martin Kampmann (184.5)
Thiago Tavares (155) vs. Kurt Pellegrino (156)
Tim Boetsch (205.25) vs. Mike Patt (205.25)
Matt Brown (170) vs. Dong Hyun “Stun Gun” Kim (170)
Jason Lambert (185) vs. Jason MacDonald (185)
Roan Carneiro (170) vs. Ryo Chonan (170)

IMPORTANT: CagePotato.com will be liveblogging tomorrow night’s pay-per-view broadcast beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Come early, come often.

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Dan Henderson Still Dreams of Greatness


(The good, not-so-old days…)

The way Dan Henderson sees it, this fight with Rousimar Palhares is just a step he has to take in order to get that rematch with Anderson Silva. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports he admitted to not knowing who Palhares was when he accepted the fight — though he did some internet research and figured it out — and then went on to diagnose what went wrong for him against “The Spider” and how he plans to remedy that the next go-round:

“He’s got holes in his game,” said Henderson, who won the first round of the fight, before getting tired and being submitted in the second round. “He’s very athletic and can get away with it. I felt my conditioning was off. I got a little tired and didn’t push the takedown in the second round. If I’d have gotten it, I’d have won the round. I should have been more aggressive when I had him down in the first round. I didn’t expect to finish him so I didn’t try. I was looking to win the round.”

First off, it’s pretty generous to go ahead and attribute the loss entirely to fatigue in the second round. It’s true that Henderson did look to have Silva somewhat figured out in that first round. Trouble is, championship fights go five rounds, and if you don’t plan to finish someone, you’d damn well better be ready to go all five.

But it does remind us that Hendo is still a credible middleweight title challenger at a time when the UFC is desperate for them (no offense, Patrick Cote…okay, a little offense). When viewed through that prism, Henderson-Palhares is suddenly a lot more interesting. Can Henderson show that he’s got his cardio act together, and is thus deserving of another shot at Silva? Will fans give a damn if he does, or is Silva too far out in the stratosphere of pound-for-pound brilliance for the UFC to drum up sufficient interest in rematches with people he’s already beaten?

We’ll have to wait and see, but if Henderson goes out on Saturday and throttles Palhares, don’t be surprised if it’s followed by Mike Goldberg doing the old UFC hard sell on Henderson as number one contender. First he has to win the fight though, and preferably look for a finish this time.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 88′s Best Lines

Chuck Liddell Rashad Evans UFC MMA

Courtesy of BestFightOdds, here are the juiciest lines for UFC 88, reflecting the lowest numbers for the favorites (i.e., the dollar amounts you’d have to put up to win $100), and the highest numbers for the underdogs (i.e., the dollar amounts you’d win if you put up $100). If you’re confused, go here first. Click on each line to go to the wagering site that’s offering it. And now the numbers…

MAIN CARD
Chuck Liddell (-241) vs. Rashad Evans (+230)
Rich Franklin (-221) vs. Matt Hamill (+210)
Dan Henderson (-200) vs. Rousimar Palhares (+190)
Karo Parisyan (-210) vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida (+203)
Nate Marquardt (-130) vs. Martin Kampmann (+140)

UNDERCARD
Thiago Tavares (-252) vs. Kurt Pellegrino (+250)
Tim Boetsch (-375) vs. Michael Patt (+326)
Dong Hyun Kim (-350) vs. Matt Brown (+300)
Jason MacDonald (-157) vs. Jason Lambert (+160)
Ryo Chonan (-113) vs. Roan Carneiro (+103)

Notes…

— UFC 88′s “I Can’t Believe the Odds Are That Close” match is MacDonald/Lambert. When a fighter drops a weight class, it usually means he’ll have a size advantage against his opponent. In Jason Lambert’s case, he’s just cutting some topmeat. The Punisher might look a little faster in the cage, but MacDonald is still the far more talented fighter here, and you won’t regret putting some money down on the favorite.

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