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Tag: MMA news

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 milwaukeemma.com)

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. InsideFights.com 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.

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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.

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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.”
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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.
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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.

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

Rich Franklin Dan Henderson twitter UFC MMA
(Props: twitter.com/FollowACE)

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…

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Affliction Shit-Show Update: Fighters to Be Compensated, Affliction to Be a UFC Sponsor Again?

UFC's Dana White and Affliction's Tom Atencio
(Whaddaya say, best buds again?)

So after this morning’s news that Affliction: Trilogy was being canceled altogether you might be asking, ‘Sup Affliction?  You going to promote any more shows ever?  You going to give any money to those fighters you just screwed?  And what does this do to your relationship with Strikeforce and the UFC?  Judging by recent developments, Affliction’s answer to all those questions would probably be, ‘Shit, man, I don’t know.  Can you just take me home?’

Basically, it’s a mess right now.  The stories are coming in from all sides and some of them are changing by the hour.  Allow us to try and make sense of it:

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Report: Frank Mir and Cheick Kongo Look to Rebound at UFC 107

Cheick Kongo MMA UFC
("Another opponent that will tool me on the ground? YES!" Photo courtesy of MMA Frenzy.)

According to a new report on Sportsnet.ca (which was also confirmed by MMA Mania), former UFC interim heavyweight champ Frank Mir is tentatively scheduled to face Cheick Kongo at UFC 107 (December 12, Memphis). Mir will try to bounce back from his crushing loss to Brock Lesnar at UFC 100, while Kongo is coming off his own smothering defeat against Cain Velasquez at UFC 99. The match would support the headlining light-heavyweight scrap between TUF 10 coaches Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Rashad Evans.

We know Kongo hits hard, but if Mir can get this one to the mat, his massive jiu-jitsu advantage could decide the fight. No matter what happens, both guys have a lot to lose in this one. (I wonder if Mir will keep pushing his "cocky bastard" routine now that he’s been completely humbled?) Speaking of UFC 107, Rampage and Rashad will be the subjects of a Primetime mini-series on Spike, showcasing their preparations for the match. Think about it, know it, see it.

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Joe Riggs Reportedly Pulls Out of ‘Carano vs. Cyborg’ Card Due to Bad Drug Reaction

Joe Riggs Jabba MMA
("Side effects may include headache, dry mouth, constipation, and Huttism.")

Strikeforce’s monumental "Carano vs. Cyborg" card may have lost another title fight. Earlier this week, the scheduled heavyweight championship bout between Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum went up in smoke due to Overeem’s infected hand. Now, it appears that the rematch between Nick Diaz and Joe Riggs — which would have decided Strikeforce’s first welterweight champion — could be off as well. According to GracieFighter (via FiveOuncesofPain):

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Oh Good, Don Frye Is Here To Say Something Totally Insane


(Don Frye doesn’t offer mustache rides. He merely takes applications and approves or denies them based on merit, need, and whether or not you are a gross fat chick.)

As much as we’ve been enjoying all the back and forth about who will and who won’t fight Fedor next weekend, it just seemed as though it hadn’t gotten quite absurd enough yet.  And then Don Frye chimed in:

"If Tom (Atencio) was smart, he’d have me fighting Fedor instead of whoever he’s hiring on a one week notice.  My phone works if he wants a real fight with someone who sell a fight in four days, somebody who will beat that bald-headed commie too. …He ain’t seen anything I have to offer.  He built his whole reputation (as a) waffle house chef. They’ve been serving him up ham and eggs with a side of canned tomatoes. I’ll bring it. And if he can bring it, you’ll have the best fight you’ve ever seen on the planet."

I’m sorry, bald-headed commie?  Waffle house chef?  Best fight you’ve ever seen on the planet?  And that’s just off the top of his head, people.  Imagine what he could do with a week to prepare some material and really build momentum.

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