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Tag: MMA news

Wanderlei Silva’s Manager Shoots Down Bisping Rumor

Wanderlei Silva
(Sure he’ll fight again.  But he just got the "Wings" DVD box set and, well, you know how it is once you get sucked into a series.)

Hasn’t it just been that kind of week, fight fans?  As soon as something good or interesting or at least newsworthy seems like it might happen, the goddamn facts come swooping in to ruin all the fun.

Wanderlei Silva’s manager tells Fighters Only that they haven’t even discussed the possibility of fighting Michael Bisping at UFC 105, and suggests that even if they had their answer probably would have been no.  Apparently Silva wants to wait until February before he fights again so he can “take time off to heal his body and mind.”  Plus he’s got this gym to worry about and some vague “business affairs” (just say you’re not investing in puppy mills and we’ll believe you) to attend to.   A lot of stuff on his plate, in other words.

So there it is, another rumor destroyed, another dream deferred.  Oh well.

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Wild Rumor of the Day: Michael Bisping vs. Wanderlei Silva at UFC 105?

Dan Henderson Michael Bisping UFC 100
Wanderlei Silva UFC 98 MMA

Before we get started, let me just point out that MMABay.co.uk has an accuracy rate of about .500 when it comes to breaking news — which is great if you’re batting cleanup, and not so great if you’re an MMA news site. So take the validity of this rumor as somewhere between "Kimo Leopoldo is dead" and "Josh Barnett is innocent." Anyway:

MMABay can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that the main event is all set for the UFC’s next visit to the UK on November 14th as Wolfslair trained middleweight, Michael “The Count” Bisping will take on Brazilian MMA legend, Wanderlei Silva in Manchester, England.
 
News of the fight was passed along to MMABay by a source at the Wand Fight Team in Las Vegas, Nevada who revealed that the Brazilian would be putting pen to paper very soon after returning from receiving the key to the city in Pensacola, Florida. It will be the first fight of his career to be competed at 185 pounds.
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Fedor Emelianenko ‘Disappointed’ By Josh Barnett’s Steroid Bust, Would Prefer Brett Rogers

Fedor Emelianenko MMA Affliction
(Meanwhile, Fedor’s urine test came up positive for vodka and childlike wonderment. Props to M1.)

Fedor Emelianenko and his manager, M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein, held a press conference today in Moscow to assure fans that contrary to recent reports, he is still alive. Kidding, y’all. Actually, they met with Russian media to answer questions about this Josh Barnett clusterfuck. Some highlights:

On Barnett: “I feel disappointed about this situation. But I will fight anyone who Affliction puts in front of me. I know a lot of fans waited for this fight to happen and I am sorry for them. I can’t do much about it now but I am in good shape, my training has been good and continues to go well…There was no specific manner to prepare for the planned bout with Josh Barnett. It’s all the same: standup and ground game… Undoubtedly, it’s better to know the name of your opponent long before the fight.”

On Barnett’s Replacement: “By the end of the evening we expect to officially announce who’ll be the replacement for Barnett. Vitor Belfort agreed to come in principle. We personally entertain the idea of having Brett Rogers step in since he knocked Andrei Arlovski out. But if there is any problem with Rogers, then it’s pretty safe to say it’s going to be Belfort. However, we are well aware of the fact that fans don’t consider Vitor Belfort to be a suitable replacement, according to a recent Sherdog poll*…Belfort can make heavyweight but the fans don’t want this fight. Fedor isn’t seeking an easy fight. If logistics weren’t an issue, we’d like to see Fedor fight against Brett Rogers. Fans want it (and) so do we.”

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Fedor Opponentwatch Update: Belfort Is ‘Official’, Rogers Would Step in For 800k

Brett Rogers Fedor Emelianenko MMA Affliction
(Oh, what could have been…)

According to TheFightNetwork, Fedor Emelianenko vs. Vitor Belfort is really happening:

Shawn Tompkins, head trainer at Xtreme Couture, has confirmed to The Fight Network that Vitor Belfort has signed on to fight Fedor Emelianenko August 1st at the Affliction ‘Trilogy’ event in Anaheim, California. Belfort was originally scheduled to fight Jorge Santiago on the same card in a middleweight bout. The main event was forced to be changed after Josh Barnett failed a pre fight drug test by the California State Athletic Commission.

Affliction VP Tom Atencio did not make reference to this replacement — or make any other earth-shattering announcements — on today’s conference call, which you can get a summary of here. Meanwhile, undefeated bruiser (and actual heavyweight) Brett Rogers did in fact throw his name out as an option. A source told SI’s Josh Gross that the Grim was asking for "a purse approaching at least the $800,000 Affliction Entertainment paid Sylvia to fight Emelianenko." Affliction, it seems, respectfully declined.

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Franklin/Henderson II Was Announced Without Franklin’s Knowledge

Rich Franklin MMA UFC
(Whaddya say, Rich — once more for old times’ sake?)

The announcement that a rematch between Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin would headline UFC 103 (September 19th, Dallas) came as a bit of a surprise to us. And apparently, Franklin was just as surprised as we were. Here’s how he described the booking to MMA Junkie:

"I left [a contract negotiation session in Las] Vegas thinking the fight with Henderson wouldn’t materialize. I found out by being woken up by a text (message) yesterday…I was taking a nap on the couch and had about 50 messages when I woke up…The UFC had announced it without telling me. My group of people were some of the last to know."

Nice, Dana. Luckily, Franklin is being a good sport and going along with it, even if he still doesn’t know which weight class the fight will be contested at. Said Franklin: "I’m assuming (it’s at) 205…I haven’t spoken to anyone about it, so anything I say is only speculation…Even if [Henderson] lost to me at 205, it shouldn’t affect his standing at 185 pounds. So I’d assume the UFC would do this fight at 205."

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It’s Time to Play: “Who Wants to Fight Fedor on a Week’s Notice!?”

Vitor Belfort and Mike Tyson
(All right guys, just flip a coin for it.  Loser fights Fedor.  Winner gets an ice cream sandwich.)

Remember when the fun trend among MMA fighters was to declare their desire and willingness to fight Fedor Emelianenko, despite not being in the same organization or even weight class?  Well, somebody better go call all those bastards up, because Fedor needs a replacement opponent in a hurry.  With Josh Barnett getting the no-go from the California State Athletic Commission, Affliction is said to be looking at four possible replacements, which range from unlikely to damn near impossible to not that credible of a challenger even if they did agree to it. 

But why stop with the merely implausible or ill-advised possibilities?  Clearly, this is a total shit-show of a problem that requires a total shit-show of a solution.  Allow us to examine the possibilities…

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CSAC Refuses to License Josh Barnett; Bout With Emelianenko Off for ‘Affliction: Trilogy’


("Mostly-natural, baby!" Photo courtesy of MMA Mania.)

Bad news for MMA fans — and disastrous news for Affliction’s MMA promotion. Sherdog is reporting that the California State Athletic Commission will not license Josh Barnett for his fight against Fedor Emelianenko at next Saturday’s Affliction: Trilogy event due to a "positive test result." We’re assuming that means steroids and not Hep B or something, though the CSAC promises to release a detailed statement today. Barnett, who was stripped of his UFC heavyweight title in 2002 for anabolic steroid use, was surprised by the news: 

“I took my test three weeks ago. I would have thought I would have heard something by now…No matter what happens with this, I can assure you I will clear my name. This will not be something that I am defined by.”
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Overeem Out of Strikeforce Title Fight Thanks to Nagging Street-Fighting Injury

Alistair Overeem
(‘If you see that son of a bitch Gallagher, tell him we need to talk.’)

There’s something to be learned from the cautionary tale of Alistair Overeem, and it’s this: if you’re going to get into a nightclub brawl in between title fights, at least have the sense to hit people with your elbows and not your fists.  Strikeforce officials confirmed today that Overeem will be unable to defend his heavyweight title on August 15 against Fabricio Werdum because the infection to the hand he injured on a bouncer’s face back in May still hasn’t healed. 

This means he’ll miss a second straight fight because of his street fighting antics, and the Strikeforce heavyweight strap that he won back in 2007 and has yet to defend will stay on the shelf…or will it?

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Randy, Fedor, Sylvia, Babalu Tapped for ‘EA MMA’ Roster List

EA MMA video game
("Your perpetually-scowling welterweight with great jiu-jitsu, cardio, and trash-talk has died of dysentery.")

For over a month, we’ve been wondering who EA Sports will be able to recruit for its upcoming MMA video game — especially after Dana White’s proclamation that any fighter who signs with the competing title will be dead to him. But now that reports are starting to trickle out, let’s run it down…

— In a recent interview with MMA Wordwide, UFC/IFL/Strikeforce vet Benji Radach says that he starts work on the game next month, and will be in it along with Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko.

— Emelianenko’s involvement was confirmed by a press release distributed by mixfight.ru, which also named Gegard Mousasi as a participant.

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Aoki vs. Hansen III, Super Hulk Semis + Featherweight GP Finals Set for DREAM.11

Joachim Hansen Shinya Aoki MMA DREAM
(In the animal kingdom, playing dead can be considered an intelligent defense. In an MMA fight, not so much. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Yesterday’s event may have been low on spectacle, but DREAM plans to come back strong for their next show. Here’s what’s on the card for DREAM.11 (October 6th, Yokohama):

— The long-awaited rubber-match between Shinya Aoki and Joachim Hansen. The two top-ten lightweights first met at PRIDE Shockwave 2006, where Aoki took out Hellboy via gogoplata. But Hansen got revenge last July, scoring a brutal TKO over Aoki at DREAM’s lightweight GP finals. Hansen has been inactive since that fight, while Aoki has gone 4-1, earning victories over Eddie Alvarez and Vitor Ribeiro, with his only loss to Hayato Sakurai in an ill-advised welterweight match.

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