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Tag: UFC

Rich Franklin, Evan Tanner to Return at UFC 82?


It’s being reported that UFC 82 — which goes down March 2 in Columbus, and will be headlined by a middleweight championship bout between Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson — will also feature the Octagon return of actor/fighter Rich Franklin, who will face off against Ultimate Fighter 4 winner Travis Lutter. Both men are coming off of losses to Anderson Silva, but unlike Franklin, Lutter actually came close to beating him, creaming the champ with unanswered punches from the mount in the first round of their match at UFC 67 before Silva slipped out and locked in a triangle choke in the second. (Franklin, of course, wasn’t able to make it to the second round in either of his fights against the current champ.) A skilled submission artist, Lutter could potentially find a way to beat Ace, who isn’t looking like the most confident fighter in the world lately, and whose budding movie career may be diverting his focus. The fight would be the first in Franklin’s new six-fight contract with the UFC.

MMA Mania is also reporting that UFC veteran Evan Tanner will also fight at UFC 82 against a yet-unnamed opponent. Tanner briefly held the UFC’s middleweight belt before losing it to Rich Franklin at UFC 53; his last fight was a submission victory over Justin Levens in April 2006. Since then, Tanner has struggled with alcoholism, attempted to create a charity training center for troubled fighters that failed, worked to restore a sailboat that eventually sank, and had some possessions stolen from his Land Cruiser. Here’s hoping his future endeavors run a bit more smoothly…


Michael Bisping to Stop Binge-Eating


The UFC has announced via a profile article on Michael Bisping that the former light-heavyweight TUF winner will officially make the wise drop down to middleweight. As the story goes:

The drop down has been a long time coming for the British striker. While other top light heavyweights walk around at over 230 pounds when not in training camp, Bisping, one month and many hearty meals removed from fighting at UFC 78 in New Jersey, weighs only 211 pounds…

Bisping said: “Dana thought it was a great idea, he said I’d be ‘a monster’ down at middleweight. In fact all sorts of people like Rampage (with whom Bisping is close) were telling me this was the best thing for my career. Really, I knew middleweight was the place to be. When I went to train with Rampage in America over the summer, when we’d go eat he’d have half a lettuce leaf; I’d have a pizza or a couple of foot-long Subways and a couple of sneaky cookies.

Not sure what “sneaky cookies” are, but if they’re anything like “ookie cookies,” then yes, Bisping should stop eating them. And by the way, Mike, it’s not cool to pig out in front of your bro when he’s trying to cut weight — though the “My Dinner With Rampage” scene I’m envisioning is so entertaining it should get its own Odd Couple-esque sitcom:

Rampage (to waitress): Lemme get, ah…I want that salad. Dressin’ on the side.

Bisping (to waitress): Roit, I’ll ‘ave two foot-long Subways, luv. Double-meat, double-Swiss. Yeah, safe.

Waitress: Subways?

Bisping: Roit, Subways. Subways. Subway fookin’ sandwiches.

Waitress: Sir, this is not a Subway. We don’t serve—

Bisping: Roit, look — two foot-long bread-loaves. Roast beef, turkey, ham. Lettuce, pickles, black olives. Spicy mustard, mayo. As much Swiss cheese as you ‘ave. Got all that? Brilliant, now do it twice, luv, and quickly. I ‘aven’t eaten in 45 minutes.

Waitress: I’ll see what I can do. [she leaves]

Bisping: Yeah, you see what you can do. Bloody coont.

Rampage: Maaaaaaan…two Subways? How you gonna do me like that?!?

[cue laugh track, cut to black]


‘War Machine’ May Be Eating Elbows in Prison


The San Diego Union Tribune has reported that Jo(h)n “War Machine” Koppenhaver attended a preliminary hearing today to face felony assault and battery charges, stemming from an incident in September where he allegedly choked a man unconscious and hit him in the face outside of Undisputed, the San Diego gym where he works as a trainer. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Well, it gets weird:

Darren Zatkow testified that he was visiting San Diego with his then-girlfriend when he was assaulted outside the club after a night of drinks on the town. He said he was confronted by a group of men without shirts who surrounded him as he left the club. He said he was grabbed in a carotid choke hold and dragged a few feet from his friends by one of the men. Zatkow said he did not see who grabbed him from behind. Friends of Zatkow’s who testified said he was punched in the face while he lay unconscious on the ground…San Diego Police Detective Fernando Ramirez said a Las Vegas doctor who saw Zatkow days after the assault determined that the facial blow caused four fractures to his left eye socket. The injuries could cause temporary or permanent nerve damage, Ramirez said.

A New York man who was in San Diego at the time testified for the defense that he saw Koppenhaver hold Zatkow during the confrontation outside, but he said the person responsible for the assault was another one of the men standing outside the club…If the case goes to trial and Koppenhaver is convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of seven years in prison, said prosecutor David Williams.

So to summarize: Koppenhaver and his friends — shirtless and well past normal business hours — lay in wait outside of the gym that he works at, and gang-stomp tipsy clubgoers as they stumble outside of the nightclub that’s adjacent to the health club. Is that about right? Jesus, I knew San Diego was boring, but there’s no excuse for this. Also, though Zaktow never saw who grabbed him from behind, and a witness claims War Machine only held Zaktow while his buddies did the rest, through their own hazy methods of deduction, the Union Tribune decided, in their second paragraph, to run with the more exciting version that Koppenhaver was responsible for the punching and choking. Anyway, we hope the guy gets a fair shake, and that if he has to do some time, he’ll get a cell-mate that can appreciate a good upper-decking.


F.o.t.D.: Wanderlei Silva vs. Quinton Jackson

Right now, as you go about the normal activities of your day, Quinton Jackson is praying his ass off that Chuck Liddell beats Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79. Because if Silva wins, he’ll probably be next in line after Forrest Griffin to challenge Rampage for the light-heavyweight title, and if that happens, there might be a repeat of the brutality that befell the current UFC light-heavy champ at the Pride “Final Conflict” Grand Prix in November 2003. If you have the stomach for it, watch the video below (and turn down your speakers now, because the soundtrack is dreadful):

Their re-match a year later ended the exact same way. Now we know why Rampage occasionally sounds developmentally disabled


‘UFC All Access: Wanderlei Silva’ Buried on MTV2


I guess it wasn’t enough that the UFC refused to film Wanderlei Silva training at Xtreme Couture for his “All Access” special — it now looks like the show won’t even be broadcast on Spike, or during a time when most people are awake. now lists the special as debuting on 12/27 at 1 a.m. ET/PT, on MTV2, home of Jackass-ripoff Team Sanchez and old reruns of Celebrity Deathmatch. Man, Dana White doesn’t fuck around when it comes to holding grudges! (Props: MMA Mania)

In other UFC-on-TV news, CNBC’s special “Ultimate Fighting: From Bloodsport to Big Time” — which takes “a no-holds barred look at the business behind the nation’s fastest growing sports franchise,” — airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET. It’s unlikely that the documentary will uncover much dirt about the reportedly shaky business side of the company; considering that the documentary refers to MMA as “ultimate fighting,” we’d guess that CNBC is pretty far in the UFC’s pocket, and the special will be little more than a fluff piece. But if you’re curious, check out the preview, which features lovable loser Rich Franklin explaining that he gets both nervous and anxious before his fights.


F.o.t.D.: War Machine vs. J-Rock (Round 3)

By far the wildest and bloodiest match of Saturday’s Ultimate Fighter 6 finale, John Koppenhaver and Jared Rollins’s three-round demolition derby was the people’s choice for fight of the night. Koppenhaver dominated from the top position in the first round, but took a truly nasty barrage of elbows to the head in the process. With both fighters leaking blood, Rollins took control in the second frame, raining down punishment from above, pressuring War Machine with choke attempts, and coming very close to a TKO-by-strikes victory. And then this happened:

Any other referee would have stopped the fight at the 3:33 mark. Luckily for John Koppenhaver, Steve Mazzagatti is a sadistic maniac.


Hot Potato: Rachelle Leah


Our homies at Complex just gave us the heads-up about their new photo shoot and interview with former Octagon Girl and current UFC All Access host Rachelle Leah. To see more pics from the shoot — and to find out where Rachelle would take a punch if she absolutely had to — click here. Or, feel free to gawk at some of our all-time favorite pics of Ms. Leah after the jump…


Guida’s Hair Even More Terrifying in Person


“I was hurt. He rocked me, man. I was slightly knocked out but I knew what was going on. I just heard this ringing, and it was the weirdest thing, all I saw was all this hair, I didn’t know if it was a human being or a lion attacking me, then after about 10 seconds I was like ‘Hey Clay’ and it was back on.” — Roger Huerta, to Yahoo! Sports


Penn/Stevenson UFC 80 Match to Be for LW Title


Forget all this “interim” bullshit — according to an article posted yesterday night on, BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson will fight for the true, undisputed lightweight championship at UFC 80: Rapid Fire on January 19th. Before the Ultimate Fighter 6 finale on Saturday, UFC officials confirmed that Sean Sherk had been stripped of the lightweight title after his suspension for steroid use was upheld (sort of) by the California State Athletic Commission. Says Dana White: “I have nothing but respect for Sean Sherk and I believe he’s been honest throughout this whole process. But BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson will be fighting for the lightweight title at UFC 80 on January 19th and Sean Sherk will fight the winner for the title.”

Penn’s fight against Stevenson will be his third attempt at securing the UFC’s lightweight belt, and fifth title fight overall; he was briefly the UFC’s welterweight champion after defeating Matt Hughes at UFC 46 (1/31/04). UFC 80 represents the first title shot for Stevenson, who has been fighting professionally since he was 16. Though initial reports suggested that “Rapid Fire” — which is being held in Newcastle, England — might be presented to American audiences as a taped prime-time special on CBS, is now floating a rumor that the first UFC/CBS collabo will actually be UFC 81. So if you plan on watching the Penn/Stevenson bout next month, be prepared to roll out of bed at the ungodly hour of 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET and start your Saturday with a steaming bowl of bloodshed.


Morning Beatdown: Mac Danzig vs. Tommy Speer

So, Mac Danzig proved a few things at Saturday’s Ultimate Fighter 6 finale: 1) I should really stop making public predictions. 2) Experience trumps raw power. 3) With his killer ground-and-pound and the ability to end nearly every fight in a rear naked choke, Danzig may already be a top-5 contender in the UFC’s lightweight division. The UFC is pretty aggressive about pulling their vids from YouTube, so get it while it’s hot…