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Zuffa Catch of the Day: Vazquez vs. Davis, Lauzon vs. Oliveira

Dan Lauzon MMA Affliction
(In retrospect, Dan should have never accepted that "Hertz Donut." Photo courtesy of AllElbows.)

The feeding frenzy continues, as the WEC and UFC have reportedly picked up a few more solid additions in the wake of Affliction’s demise. Here’s the latest…

According to Sherdog, the featherweight bout between Javier Vazquez and L.C. Davis that was supposed to take place during the undercard of "Trilogy" will now take place at WEC 42: Torres vs. Bowles (August 9th, Las Vegas). Vazquez (13-2) is a former King of the Cage and Gladiator Challenge champion who most recently choked out Mark Kergosian in 19 seconds at last month’s Ultimate Chaos show; it was just his third fight since 2003. Davis (also 13-2) is an IFL vet whose most recent decision loss to Michihiro Omigawa at Sengoku 7 in March dropped him from our featherweight top ten list.


UFC Picks Up U.K. Welterweight Standout Paul Daley

(Props: drunkenunicorn)

According to Fighters Only, the UFC has just rescued Paul "Semtex" Daley from Affliction’s wreckage, signing the British 170-pounder to a four-fight contract. Daley, who was scheduled to fight Jay Hieron on the undercard of "Trilogy" before the event was canceled, is the former Cage Rage welterweight champion, and sports a record of 21-8-2, with 17 of his wins coming via stoppage due to strikes. He holds notable wins over Duane Ludwig, Jess Liaudin, Xavier Foupa-Pokam, and John Alessio. As FO explains:


Fedor Emelianenko and Vadim Finkelchtein: Total F*cking Retards

Fedor Emelianenko Vadim Finkelchtein MMA M-1
("Don’t worry, Fedor, there will be other offers. Say, would you like to open for a puppet show in Stockton this weekend?" Photo courtesy of 5oz.)

You gotta be kidding me with this shit. According to Carmichael Dave (via Bloody Elbow), here’s what the UFC was offering Fedor to sign with them:

- The UFC offered Fedor a 6 fight, 30 million dollar contract. That’s 5 mil a fight
- The UFC offered Fedor an immediate title shot
- Lesnar/Fedor would be the biggest PPV in MMA history (we assume), and the UFC offered M-1 Global a cut of the PPV on top of Fedor’s purse.
- Fedor was free to wear as many M-1 logoed items as he wished.
- The UFC also relented on allowing Fedor to compete in combat sambo.
Apparently, for good or bad, M-1 refuses to sign a deal unless the UFC agrees to co-promote.

Dana White’s Big News: UK ESPN Deal?

Dana White and Fertitta Brothers
(Those smiles could only mean one thing: Dana and the boys have cooked up a crazy scheme to steal the Westbury High School mascot…again.)

When Dana White announces his future intention to make a big announcement, it’s sort of like your girlfriend saying, ‘Can I ask you something?’  You have no idea what’s coming.  It could be something awesome and big, like ‘What would you think about having a threesome with the hot German girl who lives next door?’ or it could be something like, ‘Do you think I should get bangs?’  You just never know, but the endless possibilities make the moment of anticipation that much more exciting.

According to a recent report from The Sun, Friday’s Dana White announcement will be slightly more hairstyle than it is threesome, at least for those of us in the US of A.  The UK news outlet reports that the UFC will announce a deal with the newly formed UK ESPN channel to broadcast events across the pond, essentially replacing the deal the UFC had with the now-defunct Setanta Sports.  The UK ESPN channel is reportedly set to launch on August 3, and they could turn right around and broadcast UFC 101 on August 8.  


UFC Picks Up Ben Rothwell vs. Chase Gormley From ‘Trilogy’ — Many More Affliction Fighters to Come?

Ben Rothwell MMA
("Hey Lesnar, I heard you like guns. WELL HOW DO YOU LIKE THESE?!?" Photo courtesy of

Why let Strikeforce have all the fun in picking over Affliction’s carcass? According to Sherdog, the heavyweight scrap between Ben Rothwell and Chase Gormley that was supposed to be featured on the undercard of "Trilogy" will now happen at UFC 104 (October 24th, Los Angeles). Rothwell has won 14 of his last 15 fights, with notable wins over Roy Nelson, Krzysztof Soszynski (twice), and Ricco Rodriguez, and a sole loss to Andrei Arlovski at Affliction: Banned. Gormley is a promising 6-0 heavyweight from Bodyshop Fitness Team who holds wins over Jon Murphy and Eric Pele.

But that could just be the beginning. hears that a whopping twenty Affliction fighter contracts have been snapped up by the UFC. The names haven’t been released yet — maybe they’ll be revealed at Friday’s "crazy" press conference — but considering guys like Vitor Belfort, Jorge Santiago, Takanori Gomi, and Paul Daley are still floating in the breeze, Christmas may be coming early for Dana & Co. We’d include Fedor Emelianenko on that list, but as long as M-1 keeps denying that their #1 asset is heading to the Octagon, there’s no reason to keep playing with your emotions.


Anonymous Source Says UFC and Fedor Will Announce a Deal This Week

Fedor Emelianenko and Jean-Claude Van Damme
(When reached for comment, a source speaking on the condition of anonymity also confirmed for us that "Bloodsport" was totally kickass.)

Don’t get too excited just yet, but a media outlet that is neither an internet forum nor a celebrity gossip site is reporting that a deal to bring Fedor Emelianenko to the UFC is being “finalized” and will be announced later this week.  Because, much like Jay Hieron, we’ve had our hearts broken too many times to get our hopes up, we’re remaining skeptical for the moment despite the L.A. Times’ assertion (via WKR) that negotiations have been “very civil.”

If you’re looking for reasons to believe this report, the UFC did send out an email to announce a conference call on Friday wherein Dana White “will break all the latest news and developments.”  Then again, Fedor has a press conference scheduled for Wednesday.  If he’s signed a deal or is at least close to one, he’d have to either steal the UFC’s thunder by announcing it two days before them, or else say nothing of interest and generally waste everyone’s time.  

Of course there’s always the possibility that his press conference will have nothing to do with his MMA future at all and will instead be a forum for him to answer questions about his newest short story collection, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Stoic Russian Indifference,” but again, let’s not get our hopes up.


Vadim Finkelchtein Would Like to Go Ahead and Complicate This Fedor/UFC Issue If You Don’t Mind

Fedor Emelianenko and Vadim Finkelchtein
(‘It’s quite simple, gentleman. All we require is a suitcase full of money, a crate of automatic rifles, twelve underaged prostitutes, and a helicopter to take us to the airport. Oh, and the helicopter must be painted with the M-1 Global logo. Do we have a deal?’)

Now that Affliction has gone back to being merely the maker of terrible t-shirts and Fedor Emelianenko has lost another home to fight in, this should mean that the way is clear for him to sign with the UFC, right?  Enter Vadim Finkelchtein, also known around the Zuffa offices as Crazy Russian #1.  Yesterday he spoke to the official M-1 Global site about his new plans to profit off Fedor’s success now that Affliction is gone.  Fedor and his people are all in the U.S. and they plan to talk with several different organizations over the next few days, but Finkelchtein isn’t about to make this thing easy on anyone:

“This is the moment of truth that the UFC has talked about. Fedor and I are here in the States. If they want to come out and fly here, we are ready to conduct negotiations. Of course it still doesn’t imply we are ready to accept any conditions they’ll throw at us. We want to talk to the UFC about having Fedor compete against some of their fighters, but only within the framework of co-promotional efforts with M-1 Global.”

Antonio Silva Wants Josh Barnett for Sengoku’s Heavyweight Steroid Championship

Antonio Bigfoot Silva MMA steroids
(Seriously. The man showers after every workout, and always uses fresh needles. Image courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

Thank God for the city of Japan — where else would fighters who are wrongly accused of steroid use get a chance to redeem themselves? According to an article posted yesterday on Tatame (via BloodyElbow), two such innocent victims could be meeting in the ring at the end of this year:

Owner of three heavyweight championships (EliteXC, Cage Rage and Cage Warriors), Antonio "Pezão" Silva is training to return to Sengoku on September 23rd, and now has even more motivation to win. "I have two more fights in Sengoku, and, winning this fight… I’ll fight for the title in December. They’re going to create a championship and I’ll fight for the title," said the American Top Team heavyweight, who is still without an opponent.
"I don’t know who it could be, I don’t have the slightest idea," he affirmed. But, given the choice, Pezão already has someone he’d like to see on the other side of the ring. "I’d like it to be Josh Barnett, since he won’t be fighting in the United States. He has a contract with Sengoku and is trained, so who knows why this fight wouldn’t happen," suggested the fighter, whose steroid suspension in the United States ends next week.

Video: Ray Mercer Not a Fan of Head Kicks

(Props: MMA Scraps)

Before Ray Mercer became known as the unstoppable heavyweight juggernaut who wrecked Tim Sylvia in 8 seconds, Mercer had a two-fight kickboxing stint in K-1, losing his debut to Musashi by unanimous decision in June 2004. His second bout against Remy Bonjasky at the K-1 World GP 2005 in Seoul was even less successful. We won’t spoil the suprise for you, but the fight (if you can call it that) starts at the 3:53 mark of the above video and ends very shortly afterwards. It’s pretty sad when losing a match to Kimbo Slice by submission still isn’t the low point in your fight career.

Speaking of Merciless, the former WBO boxing champ and Olympic gold medalist may have his next MMA bout booked. American Top Team boxing coach Howard Davis Jr. is in negotiations to put Mercer against old-schooler Marcus "Conan" Silveira in the main event of a December 12th MMA card called "U.S. vs. Brazil," put on by Davis’s new Fight Time Promotions company.


Henderson/Franklin II Still Not Listed On; Major Announcement Ahead?

Rich Franklin Dan Henderson twitter UFC MMA

Rich Franklin gives us the heads-up that the UFC may be re-thinking the main event for UFC 103 (September 19th, Dallas) — which is great, considering it was a garbage-ass fight to begin with. MMA Junkie claims that the bout, though officially announced, was never added to the UFC 103 event page to begin with. It seems like odd treatment for an upcoming main event, unless something else is in the works; it’s been speculated that because of recent events, Franklin or Henderson could instead face off against Vitor Belfort or He Who Shall Not Be Named at #103. Belfort would be an awesome fill-in, though September might be too soon a return for You Know Who. Adding fuel to the rumor fire is Dana White’s recent announcement that the UFC will be holding a press conference on July 31st to discuss "a lot of crazy things." Stay tuned…