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Tag: Rashad Evans

UFC 85 Curse Claims James Irvin

James Irvin UFC 85
(His tattoo is watching even when he’s not. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Yesterday evening, the UFC announced that a broken foot has forced James Irvin to pull out from his UFC 85 match against Rashad Evans. Though UFC.com first reported that Luiz Cane would be stepping up to replace Irvin, a finalized card was released shortly after, which didn’t include Evans at all. The undercard fight between Nate Marquardt and Thales Leites has now been moved to the main pay-per-view card.

Anyway, that’s a bummer — I had high hopes for the Irvin/Evans match-up, as their conflicting styles could have produced some exciting results. But Evans is better off not being on the card at this point. Having to train for another new opponent (he was originally slated to fight Chuck Liddell) wouldn’t be fair to him with less than a month until the show, and historically, situations like that tend not to go well. Still, how cursed is this card? First it was Mauricio Rua with an injured knee. Then Liddell with a torn hammy. Then Chris Leben with his probation violation. Good Lord, is the O2 Arena built on an Indian burial ground or something?

In other UFC news:

Early reports have UFC 88 slated for September 6th in Atlanta, GA. It would be the first time the UFC was held in the state of Georgia since UFC 13 in May 1997.

TUF 6 alum Blake Bowman (remember, the guy who Mac Danzig used to mercilessly make fun of?) won his professional MMA debut on Friday, at the same event that produced the already-legendary double-K.O. involving Tyler Bryan and Shaun Parker. Facing Kevin Walker, who was also making his professional debut, Bowman won a TKO victory in just eight seconds, landing a head kick right at the bell and following it up with a punch that put Walker out.

— According to recent announcements and promotional materials, Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Coleman will not be the official main event of UFC 87. Could a headlining title fight be possible? GSP and Anderson Silva don’t have anything scheduled yet…

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Monday Morning Hangover: UFC Edition

Anderson Silva UFC
(Anderson Silva: Pound-for-pound the worst liar in the world.)

— Chuck Liddell’s hamstring injury, which forced him to pull out of a match against Rashad Evans at UFC 85, isn’t looking good. “He can barely bend over and tie his shoe,” Dana White said. “He tore his leg real bad. It’s pretty nasty.” As of now, there’s no official estimate on how long it will take for the Iceman to recover and return to the Octagon.

— A welterweight bout between Tamdan “AFC” McCrory and Luke Cummo is expected to go down at UFC 87. Both men are coming off losses — to Akihiro Gono and Luigi Fioravanti, respectively — and if this isn’t a “win or get fired” match, we don’t know what is. (Update: Cheick Kongo and BodogFight/Gladiator Challenge vet Dan Evensen are also expected to meet at UFC 87.) In other fight-booking news, a lightweight match between Spencer Fisher (who most recently lost to Frankie Edgar by decision at UFC 78) and Jeremy Stephens (who most recently TKO’d Cole Miller at UFC Fight Night 12) has been added to the Ultimate Fighter 7 finale (June 21st, Las Vegas).

— Remember that two-day seminar that Anderson Silva was supposed to do this weekend at Miletich Fighting Systems Houston? Well, he backed out at the last minute, citing “personal family health issues.” Turns out Silva was in Miami doing a two-day seminar at the grand opening of his own school. Said Alex Lopera of MFS Houston, “If this is true then we have been completely mislead and as you can imagine we are furious at this. We are doing our due diligence to confirm that this is really happening. If this is true we will take all legal recourse possible.” Busted!

Tito Ortiz predicts that at UFC 84 there will be “about 16,000, probably 15,999 [fans] that will be screaming about Tito and there will be that one person that’s hating on me.” Sure, but he’ll be hating on you so loud that it’ll seem like thousands of people, all over the arena. That son-of-a-bitch and his voice-throwing…

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Quote Stew: Bisping, Quarry, Hunt + More

JI
(James Irvin: Fighting his way off of the C-list.)

“He’s lost his last two fights now, against Franklin and Anderson Silva, so the UFC’s decision makes sense. No fighter can guarantee winning a fight but you can go into a bout in shape. If you can’t go the distance then you’re not preparing well enough and you’re not taking your job seriously. We work for the UFC and it’s our job to get off our a**es and train and be in shape. That’s what we get paid for and if we don’t do that then we’re not doing our job. That’s the way I look at it.”
Michael Bisping on the recent sacking of Travis Lutter.

“I just decided to make light of the situation and be like, hey man, this is what I’m seeing. I’m seeing a running man. That just came to me out of nowhere. When there were ten seconds left I just said to myself, all right, I’m calling the technique the ‘rock-hammer.’ I don’t know if that name will stick or not.”
Nate Quarry on the instant-classic ending of his fight with Kalib Starnes.

“I’m just so happy that he would even take the fight against me. I consider him an ‘A’ level fighter, and I consider myself a ‘C’ level fighter, maybe a ‘B’ level because I just beat Houston trying to claw my way up to the top. So for him to take a step down and fight me, I’m greatly appreciative of the guy, who is someone I look up to as one of those top tier fighters.”
James Irvin on his UFC 85 opponent, Rashad Evans.

“Mentally I think BJ has some quit in him. I’ve seen it, I’ve seen it in the past. If you push him, he’ll quit.”
Sean Sherk on his UFC 84 grudge match with BJ Penn.

“Now that the K1 thing is out of the way it’s all good baby: all MMA and MMA only. These guys (DREAM) want me to fight Aleksander (Emelianeko) in about three weeks time on May 11th! I was like no way because it’s too short a time with no training. I don’t want to risk fighting like that. But if they compensate me enough for taking that risk then it’s all good and I’ll fight. DREAM’s plan was to see how Fedor (Emelianeko) goes and when and if he wins the DREAM title, and then I will fight him…First time I fought him, my wrestling wasn’t great — actually it was pretty shit but I did alright with him. This time I will be ready.”
Mark Hunt, who may eventually be battling the Emelianenko brothers in DREAM. Hunt was submitted by Fedor via armbar at PRIDE Shockwave on New Year’s Eve 2006.

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UFC 85 Rumor Mill: Bisping vs. Leben on SpikeTV?

MB
(Decisions, decisions…)

Though the UFC has confirmed none of this yet, some strong UFC 85-related rumors are circulating that we wanted to pass along. The word is…

— James Irvin will indeed fight Rashad Evans, replacing an injured Chuck Liddell.

— The main event will feature Michael Bisping taking on Chris Leben. (Thanks for listening, guys!)

— UFC 85 will possibly be broadcast on SpikeTV. That would be enough to appease American fans — with four solid matchups on the main card (including Vera/Werdum and Davis/Swick), it’ll be at least as entertaining as an “Ultimate Fight Night” — but a show without a true big-name headliner could potentially slow the UFC’s momentum in the U.K.

We’ll let you know when any of that is formally announced.

Somewhat related: You think seven weeks is a short layover for Michael Bisping? Well, Rich Clementi is only getting five before his next fight. “No Love,” who just scored a hard-fought split-decision victory over Sam Stout on the undercard of UFC 83, has been booked to replace an injured Rob Emerson in a lightweight match against Terry Etim at UFC 84 (May 24th, Las Vegas). Clementi has won his last three UFC bouts, including submission victories over Melvin Guillard and Anthony Johnson, while Etim took his first career loss via unanimous decision against Gleison Tibau at UFC 75.

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Chuck Liddell’s Injury Is Disturbingly Real

ham
(Any guesses on what they had to black out in the lower-left corner?)

Last night, the UFC officially confirmed Chuck Liddell’s hamstring injury and pullout from UFC 85. To quiet down the cynics who suggested that Chuck simply didn’t feel like traveling all the way to England to fight Rashad Evans, they released the above photo of a man showing off an enormous strawberry while cupping his taint ever so gently; apparently, it’s Liddell. According to Dana White:

“Chuck Liddell tore his right hamstring during training last week, and being the warrior that he is, he still wanted to fight, which is the reason why everyone in the world loves him. But I wouldn’t let anyone fight with his leg looking that way. Let him heal and come back and fight when he is 100 percent. We’re adding fights to the card and rearranging it so the UK fans won’t have to worry, we’ll still be bringing an amazing card to London and the O2 Arena.”

Sherdog is floating the rumor that James Irvin may step in to face Evans, though that certainly wouldn’t be the show’s main event. (It must be said that, historically, Irvin has performed very well against African-American fighters.) You’ll know more when we do…

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F**k! Chuck Liddell Injured, Out of UFC 85

CL
(Sorry Nate, the Iceman has been doing the goofy-punch for years.)

It seems that the curse of Mauricio Rua extends past Shogun himself. MMARated brings us the disappointing news that Chuck Liddell recently sustained an injury and will not be fighting Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 85 (June 7th, London); Liddell and Evans will supposedly face each other later in the summer. Liddell was originally supposed to fight Rua in UFC 85′s main event, but Rua ruptured his ACL and was replaced by Evans. No other information on Chuck’s condition is available at the moment.

Since UFC 85 doesn’t have a title fight attached to it — the other notable bouts on the card are a heavyweight match between Brandon Vera and Fabricio Werdum, and a welterweight bout between Marcus Davis and Mike Swick — Chuck’s injury represents a big loss for the event. If I was Dana White, I’d be calling Michael Bisping right now to see how his knees were doing. Not only is the Count a huge draw in his hometown, but he’s also two dominant wins away from being a credible opponent to Anderson Silva (from a marketing standpoint, at least). Unless they want the Spider on ice for the better part of a year, dreaming about boxing money, the UFC would be wise to arrange those fights for Bisping as soon as possible; and six weeks is about as soon as it gets. Nate Marquardt is already penciled in on the card to face Thales Leites. Why not poach him for an opponent?

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Chuck Liddell: Coach of the Future


(“Hey, Ladies, where’s the fire?”)

At 38, The Iceman is talking about doing what scores of athletes in every sport have done before him: go into coaching after he’s done competing. Liddell has stated that he loves what he does — not sure if he meant getting drunk and groping chicks, or fighting — but he figures he’s got between 2-4 years left in the cage. The reality of age is starting to creep in and he’s got a plan for the future…or at least an idea of what he might do in retirement.

From The Sun:

“I definitely will be moving into coaching. I’ve got a couple of guys that have been training with me for a long time and they’ve helped me get to where I’m at today.

“So if nothing else I’ll be around for a few years helping them out with their careers.”

Well, at least he won’t be going into “acting” and polluting the already-polluted movie field, right?

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Friday Grind: UFC 85 Official Nods; Fight Night Ratings; Ken Shamrock Wants Meth


(The #1 image on GIS for “friday grind”…seriously.)

It’s the usual post-April Fool’s holiday blues wind-down. We’re all just biding our time until Happy Hour, so here are a few shorties to keep you busy until then.

— The UFC is now making more fights official for UFC 85. The show is to go down on June 7th in London. We already know Chuck Liddell will face Rashad Evans in the lame main event, and we’ve followed the other rumors, so let’s take a look at the UFC’s official card as it stands now:

– Chuck Liddell vs Rashad Evans
– Fabricio Werdum vs Brandon Vera
– Martin Kampmann vs Jorge Rivera
– Mike Swick vs Marcus Davis
– Nate Marquardt vs Thales Leites
– Jason Lambert vs Luis Cane
– Thiago Tavares vs Matt Wiman

Other rumored fights for the event that have not been stamped with the UFC official approval yet include: Jess Liaudin versus Paul Taylor, Antoni Hardonk versus Neil Wain, and Ryo Chonan versus Roan Carneiro. This comes via MMAWeekly, but we’ll keep our eyes on it for you.

— BloodyElbow is reporting that the UFC Fight Night 13‘s ratings were — in a word — shitty. The show did a 1.1 rating, which is terrible if you know anything about ratings. For such a stacked card, this really sucks for MMA on free TV. It goes to show you the unfortunate need for a Kimbo/Brock Lesnar/Chuck Liddell as a main eventer.

“TUF 7″ pulled a 1.3 immediately after the 3-hour event, so the previous joint retained its audience and gained some reality show hounds, too. For whatever it’s worth.

— And file this one with the Too Drunk to Care Bureau. Fightlinker dug up a crack-head’s video of Ken Shamrock apparently jonesin’ for meth. Check it out if you dare:

I’ll give them a tip o’ hat for editing, but first — a few quick words to the meth-head:

1) Work on your spelling and punctuation
2) Work on a Ken Shamrock ‘roids video
3) Meth…we’re assuming the Ken Shamrock pictorial is meant as sarcastic?
4) You gotta’ hook-up?

Have a bitchin’ weekend.

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Booooooring! Chuck Liddell to Fight ‘Sugar’ Rashad

RE
(Yep, that’s Rashad Evans.)

Despite some of you suggesting that madman striker Houston Alexander should take on Chuck Liddell as a replacement for the injured Mauricio Rua — not a bad idea, and one we overlooked earlier — the UFC has gone with one of the safer options that we were expecting, booking Rashad Evans to face the Iceman. Sherdog confirmed last night that the undefeated Ultimate Fighter 2 winner will be meeting Chuck Liddell at UFC 85 on June 7th in London.

It seems like Evans was picked to fill-in because he’d be the least likely to make Liddell eat another loss. Chuck’s a banger, and if he stayed in the pocket with unpredictable brawlers like Alexander or Sokoudjou, he could easily catch a knockout punch. Thiago Silva would have been just as dangerous, as he’s a threat both standing and on the ground, and he’s won all but one of his fights by stoppage. But aside from the occasional head-kick, Rashad Evans sticks to takedowns and lay-and-pray, and it’s nothing that Chuck won’t be able to deal with. In fact, we see this one turning out a lot like UFC 82′s Arlovski/O’Brien farce.

I can’t imagine many people being psyched about this matchup. Evans has a reputation for dullness, and UFC fans aren’t going to want to see Liddell spend entire rounds on his back. And from a marketing perspective, it’ll be tough to sell — Rashad’s a much smaller name than Chuck, and there’s no personal rivalry between them. But it will give the Brits a chance to throw bottles at the man who edged out their beloved Michael Bisping in November. Let’s all hope for a quick and brutal knockout…

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Next UFC Fights Booked for Thiago Silva, Rashad Evans, Mac Danzig?

TS
(Remember this? Because Houston Alexander doesn’t…)

According to an interview on Tatame.com (translated into English here), undefeated light heavyweight Thiago Silva claims he’ll be fighting Rashad Evans on May 24th. Excellent news, considering that we were just wondering when Silva was going to get another fight, and Evans could really use a definitive beat-down. On Rashad and the rest of the UFC’s LH division, Silva said:

I wanna continue unbeaten, that’s my goal. I know he likes to get down and work on ground n’ pound. He has a heavy hand too, but nothing that scares me. I’ll work on a better way to defeat him, because I wanna fight for the UFC belt this year…There’s a lot of guys that I would like to fight in UFC, but I think I would [like] to fight against Lyoto Machida and Chuck Liddell, because they like an exchanging fight.

Silva, a former member of the famed Chute Boxe academy, also stated that he’ll be joining the Florida-based American Top Team outfit at the end of the month, where he’ll get to roll with such MMA heavy-hitters as Denis Kang, Jeff Monson, Gesias Cavalcante, Marcus Maximus Aurelio, and Alessio Sakara.

In other news, TUF 6 winner Mac Danzig has been booked to face Mark Bocek at UFC 84, according to The Fight Network. The event goes down April 19 at the Bell Centre in Montreal; it’s been rumored that Rich Franklin and Mauricio Rua will also be on the card, but so far only the Serra/St. Pierre main event seems to be officially confirmed. Bocek, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist from Toronto, had a 4-0 record before entering the UFC, where he suffered a TKO loss to Frankie Edgar at UFC 73 in July, then won a decision against Doug Evans during the undercard of UFC 79: “Nemesis.” In other words, the guy’s no pushover, but he’s about as inexperienced as the rest of the reality show jokers that Mac had to dispose of on The Ultimate Fighter, and the fightin’ vegan should have no problem turning his first UFC lightweight match into a victory.

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