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Tag: UFC 103

Rich Franklin’s Manager Wants To Know Why You Aren’t More Concerned With Fighter Safety


(Props: MMA TKO)

We haven’t heard much out of Rich Franklin since his TKO loss to Vitor Belfort at UFC 103, but recently his manager popped up to complain about the illegal blows “Ace” suffered at the very end of the fight.  While J.T. Stewart insists that this is not about “sour grapes,” he says he’s disappointed that everyone saw fit to overlook what he saw as a series of illegal blows just before the stoppage, and wonders why there wasn’t a break in the action due to the blows to the back of Franklin’s head:

“Would it have changed the outcome?  Maybe not. But this is about fighter safety. This isn’t just about Rich Franklin; it’s about Rich and every other fighter knowing the rules will be enforced, whether the fight is about to be stopped or not. … “There’s been no discussion about it.  None. It’s a disappointing [sic]. The commissions, referees, fighters – everyone could have improved the safety of the sport by examining and discussing this situation. But because most people thought the outcome was a foregone conclusion, everyone conveniently ignored it."

That’s one assessment of the situation.  The other is that, as illegal blows go, this is a bit of a gray area. 

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‘Worn Out’ Cro Cop Ponders Retirement After Rough Outing at UFC 103

Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic UFC 103 MMA
(Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

After Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic‘s ugly loss to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 103 on Saturday, it was clear that his will to win has eroded even more than his skills as a fighter. For two-and-a-half rounds, we saw a backpedaling, hesitant, shadow of Cro Cop’s former self get outstruck by someone he would have murdered three years ago. It was obviously the end of the line for Filipovic as a relevant competitor — and nobody sees that as clearly as Mirko himself. As he told jutarnji.hr (translated by Robert K. at bigoddsmike.com):

I fucked up and that’s all there is to it. Maybe the ones who I’ve said that I’m done are right. Obviously I can’t break my mental block in the Octagon. Besides, I’ve been training like a spartan for 20 years now, my body is worn out. The years caught up to me, I’ve been worn out…I want a normal life. I’m entering a cage and thinking about fishing in Privlaka. You can’t win that way.
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UFC 103 Aftermath: Bonuses, Belfort’s Next Move, the Fate of Cro Cop + More

Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic UFC 103 Junior Dos Santos
("I’m sorry to tell you this, Mirko, but we discovered a scratch on your cornea. Also, there seems to be a large quantity of sand in your vagina." Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

— The UFC handed out its traditional end-of-night bonuses following UFC 103, which totaled $65,000 this time around. Fight of the Night went to Rick Story and Brian Foster, whose two-round bang-up ended with Story sinking in an arm-triangle choke. For this, Story also got the Submission of the Night Award; not a bad payday for an up-and-coming fighter. KO of the night went to Vitor Belfort for his old-Vitor-esque first-round smashing of Rich Franklin. The event drew a sellout crowd of 17.428 fans to the American Airlines Center in Dallas, producing a live gate of $2.4 million.

— During the post-event press-conference, Dana White made his intentions known about Belfort’s place in the UFC middleweight division: "To be honest with you, the way the last two fights happened with Marquardt and Henderson against Anderson Silva, I think it would be better to see them fight each other, and the winner of that become the next contender. I think Vitor is ready to fight Anderson Silva (now)…I love the fact that we have Vitor at that weight class." Belfort credited his win to a new focus on karate: "It’s just something that I want to use right now. I was taking my time. I was feeling the fight. As soon as I see something, I make sure I have the zip code, the address and the social security number…Sometimes I take my time; sometimes I’m aggressive. But as soon as I start, I make sure I fight. That’s what people want to see."

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UFC 103: The New Guys

Paul Daley MMA
(Props: Esther Lin)

With a full 13 bouts scheduled for UFC 103, fight fans are going to get their money’s worth tomorrow night in Dallas. Six fighters will be stepping into the Octagon for the first time, most of them trying to make the transition from hometown hero to big-time player. Read on to get acquainted with all the new faces, from Semtex to Tractor to Carny...

PAUL DALEY (WW)
Experience: 21-8-2 record, with 16 wins by KO/TKO. Was the former welterweight champion of Cage Rage. Holds stoppage victories over Duane Ludwig, John Alessio, Jess Liaudin, and Xavier Foupa-Pokam.
Will be facing: Martin Kampmann (15-2, 6-1 UFC)
Lowdown: You should already know about this guy. He knocks dudes out, and has never been knocked out himself. Still, if Kampmann can get this one to the ground, it’s a wrap. UFC.com tries to put a positive spin on the reality of the situation: "Chances are, when Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley is around, you’ll either witness a Knockout of the Night or Submission of the Night."

STEVE LOPEZ (LW)
Experience: 12-1 record, primarily in Midwestern regional leagues. Holds a submission-via-strikes victory over The Gooch. Last competed in October 2008, when he scored a decision win over Alejandro Villalobos.
Will be facing: Jim Miller (13-2, 3-1 UFC)
?Lowdown: A South Bend native and member of the Bulldog Fight Team, Lopez comes to this fight as a replacement for Thiago Tavares. The UFC first noticed Lopez when he tried out for TUF 9 — and injured his shoulder in the process. The former wrestler was inspired to try MMA when he saw The Smashing Machine, and made his pro debut in February 2007 at a four-man tournament, which he won via two consecutive knockouts. He just wants to get in there and scrap: “Win or lose, I hope the fans say ‘man, this kid’s tough – he’s got heart and he don’t back down.’ And this fight is the type of fight I’m looking for – Jim Miller, Roger Huerta, Tyson Griffin – I’m looking for grinders. Those just have Fight of The Night written all over them. I’m not afraid to stand and bang, and I can take a whuppin’. We throw down hard in practice, I’ve never been knocked down, and these are the fights that interest me.”

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‘Who’s Rich Franklin?’: Floyd Mayweather Gets His Last Shots in Before Saturday’s Face-Off

Floyd Mayweather Juan Manuel Marque
(Floyd knew he should have thrown paper.)

Update: These quotes are fake, apparently. Sorry, guys.

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Video: Dana White Gets Personal Against Mayweather vs. Pee-Drinking What’s-His-Name


(Props: youtube.com/UFC)

"What made Floyd Mayweather a pay-per-view star was Oscar De La Hoya. I know Floyd can’t sell tickets without Oscar but what’s happening here is, boxing is doing it to you again. They’re giving you the fight that you don’t want. Nobody asked for this fight with, ah, with Mayweather and, ah, what’s his name? What’s his name? Nobody even knows, nobody in this room even knows who Floyd’s fighting! I should know, I’m a big boxing guy and I respect the guy that he’s fighting, I know his name but I can’t think of it right now. But that’s my point, nobody gives a shit! Boxing is trying to sell you the fight that nobody cares about. People wanna see Mayweather/Pacquiao. But they’re not giving you that fight…

You show up to see Floyd Mayweather not fight. This guy will run around in circles. Everybody wants to know why the UFC is becoming so popular? It’s because they’re sick of boxers not fighting…basically you get to see ‘Dancing With the Stars’ again with Floyd Mayweather, except you have to pay for it this time…On that same night, on that UFC card, you guys can all tune in and you can watch not one fight, you guys can watch five great fights that night, for ten dollars less than what Floyd wants you to pay to see him run around in circles and lay on the ropes and move around and not fight."

Dana White may have muzzled his video blogs, but he won’t hesitate to lay down some verbal bitchsmack recorded against a green-screen when the situation calls for it. And Floyd Mayweather’s anti-MMA rhetoric has clearly gotten under his skin. Dana may have a point about Mayweather not setting up the matchup that fans want to see, but he should be careful about banging that drum too hard. After all, which fight did MMA fans ask for: Lesnar vs. Carwin or Lesnar vs. Fedor? When did we start clamoring for Franklin vs. Belfort? And by the way, Dana, Floyd’s opponent is Juan Manuel Marquez, and he’s fabulous.

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Mike Swick Out of UFC 103 With Injury; Paul Daley to Replace Against Martin Kampmann

Mike Swick MMA UFC
(Sometimes you play the cards, and sometimes the cards play you. Photo courtesy of FullTiltPoker.)

Mike Swick has confirmed to CagePotato.com that he suffered an injury in training, and has been forced to pull out of his #1 welterweight contender match against Martin Kampmann at UFC 103 (September 19th, Dallas). As Swick explained on Twitter, "I got foot swept while sparring this week and lost my legs. Landed on back of my head and neck and suffered a pretty bad concussion."

Replacing him will be Paul Daley, the well-regarded British striker who was slated to make his Octagon debut on the same card against Brian Foster. As Daley allegedly told our least-favorite tabloid: "I came to the UFC to fight the best, and that’s what I am going to do. Kampmann is on a roll with the UFC, but I will roll over him. Semtex is going to explode onto the UFC’s welterweight scene at UFC 103."

Unfortunately for the UFC, they needed the Swick/Kampmann fight to produce a legitimate contender for Georges St. Pierre. Though GSP has no desire to return to action before January, he could be looking at an even longer layoff as the welterweight contender picture gets sorted out. (Logically, Swick would fight the winner of Kampmann vs. Daley, and the winner of that fight would take on GSP sometime in the spring.) The UFC 103 lineup currently looks like this:

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UFC 103 Prelims to Air Live, Free, and Uninterrupted on Spike

Efrain Escudero UFC MMA
(Time to earn that thing, Effy. Photo courtesy of MMA Frenzy.)

In what will hopefully become a recurring trend, the UFC has decided to air a two-hour commercial-free telecast of UFC 103‘s undercard on Spike TV as a lead-in to the pay-per-view card, according to the OC Register. And why are we being treated to such generosity? Well, MMA-hater Floyd Mayweather Jr. is fighting Juan Manuel Marquez on the same night, and Dana White wants to be a pain in their asses. That’s good enough for us. It’s only a matter of time before the UFC begins counter-programming NBA playoff games and presidential addresses.

UFC 103, which will be headlined by Rich Franklin vs. Vitor Belfort, and also features Mirko Cro Cop vs. Junior Dos Santos, Mike Swick vs. Martin Kampmann, and Josh Koscheck vs. Frank Trigg, has a whopping eight fights scheduled for the undercard. It’s hard to imagine all of them will make the broadcast, but we could be seeing the returns of Vladimir Matyushenko and Dan Lauzon, the Octagon debut of Paul Daley, and Efrain Escudero‘s first fight since winning TUF 8‘s lightweight trophy. UFC 103′s full lineup is after the jump.

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UFC Press Conference Highlights: Tito Ortiz is Back, Belfort vs. Franklin @ UFC 103

Tito Ortiz Dana White MMA UFC
(One more round for old time’s sake?)

Though Dana White was hoping he could announce the signing of Fedor Emelianenko at this afternoon’s much-anticipated UFC press conference, it was not meant to be. DW said he did everything he could possibly do to get Emelianenko into the Octagon and offered him an "amazing" deal, but M-1′s dogged desire for co-promotion sunk the negotiations, which made Dana "fucking miserable." Still, there were some major announcements to share, which are sure to get MMA fans talking:

UFC 103‘s main event has been thankfully changed to Rich Franklin vs. Vitor Belfort. The match will be contested at light-heavyweight. Dan Henderson will likely get the next crack at Anderson Silva‘s middleweight belt, possibly followed by the winner of the Nate Marquardt/Demian Maia match at UFC 102.

Tito Ortiz (remember that guy?) is back in the UFC, and plans to fight before the end of the year. Mark Coleman has been named as a possible opponent.

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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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