The Junkie has also learned that “for unexplained reasons, and not necessarily health-related reasons…one semifinal qualifier will not be able to compete in next week’s fights, which allows one of the eliminated cast members to step in for a shot at the finals.” I’m putting my money on John Kolosci to come back, based on the fact that TUF.UFC.com originally forgot to put his headshot in black-and-white (it was in color as of Monday). Tune in tomorrow morning for the episode recap…
As you may have heard, the UFC is releasing a 392-page coffee-table book called Octagon. Limited to a run of just 600 copies, weighing over 50 pounds, and coming with a price tag of $2,500 (or $3,500 for the Deluxe Collector’s Edition), the book collects five years worth of portrait and action photography of UFC fighters shot by Kevin Lynch. In this video, Lynch gives some insight on the project’s creation and his attention-getting “Before and After” pictures:
To check out photos from the book — and you might as well, considering you’ll never, ever own this thing — go to Octagon-Book.com.
— Audio from yesterday’s UFC conference call with Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre and Dana White is at the OC Register. Hughes said he would have much rather faced Serra “because of all the built up anger.” Dana White still hasn’t met with Randy Couture to discuss Couture’s future with the UFC.
— According to MMA Payout, the S&P downgraded Zuffa‘s credit rating from BB to BB- today, due to a “weaker than expected performance in the third quarter, marking the second consecutive disappointing quarter.” BB ratings indicate “Bonds with speculative fundamentals. The security of future payments is only moderate.”
— Newly formed Japanese MMA promotional outfit World Victory Road, Inc. announced its first event, “Sengoku,” which will take place in Tokyo on March 5th, 2008, and will feature Hidehiko Yoshida, Sanae Kikuta, Makoto Takimoto, and Ryo Kawamura. More info can be found at Suki MMA.
“Let’s play guess teh agency she worked at. Man oh man did she really make it. I have seen at least 4 x in Montreal she was one of the best escorts. Word at the strip clubs talking with some HA is that she met and fucked Dana White when he went out to hammer out GSP’s contract. WORD!!! Kind of sucks that these bald, fat Americans took one of ours. One of the best.”
Incriminating! (Though, for the record, who the hell knows.) Click here for a sort-of NSFW trailer of Edith (aka “Anabelle”) from FlashyBabes.com and check out more pics of Edith after the jump.
— Matt Arroyo and George Sotiropoulos advanced to the semi-finals on The Ultimate Fighter, sending home Troy Mandaloniz and Richie Hightower, both via armbar. Matt Serra’s retarded logic principles prevented him from cornering his fighters during the matches, but he showed up to beat Hughes in the coaches’ challenge, out-bowling his rival in the final frame. In a heartbreaking display, Mandaloniz broke down in tears before his fight, then marched out to the ring wearing a t-shirt that said “I CAN”; unfortunately, he couldn’t. Richie shaved off his stupid mall-punk hair, and looked surprisingly tough in his match with George; instead of sobbing in his bunk bed a la John Kolosci, Richie actually looked encouraged after his loss. On the next episode, Ben Saunders takes on Tommy Speer, and a prank goes too far!
According to MMAJunkie.com, Houston Alexander is already back in the gym with his coach Mick Doyle, trying to figure out what the hell went wrong on Saturday night and how to prevent it from ever happening again. They’ll surely be watching this video on repeat, which shows just where things fell apart. Instead of coming out swinging in his usual wildman style, Alexander calmly stalked Thiago Silva at the start of the first round before falling into a clinch. From there, Silva’s Chute Boxe jiu-jitsu skills take over, and Alexander is brought to the mat and mounted. Referee Dan Miragliotta steps in when Alexander seems to lose consciousness, but lets Silva haul off a few more times just to be sure. Not that I blame him — I certainly wouldn’t want those Jersey savages hounding me about an early stoppage…
Like King George III and Hugh Grant before him, Michael Bisping is quickly establishing himself as a Brit who Americans love to hate. During a post-fight press conference, Bisping was asked how he felt about the way the crowd reacted to him during UFC 78. His witty response: “They can all go to hell.” Listen to the audio here. As Mr. Sunshine reports, “it did put a slight grimace on the face of UFC president Dana White, who was standing behind Bisping.” Though we imagine if Dana was in Bisping’s shoes, he’d probably say something more along the lines of “Basically, Jersey can go fuck itself.”
If you were bummed that Octagon Girl Ali Sonoma was M.I.A. during UFC 78, prepare to be even more bummed — the 23-year-old model has put down her ring cards for good. According to a blog entry on her MySpace page:
“I am no longer a ring girl for UFC…I am proud to say I am moving up to bigger and better things. There is always a time when you get comfortable at a job…you seem to lose focus on what your main goal is…I guess I got a little comfortable myself, of course, I loved the fights, loved the experience, but my real dream is to actually speak on camera, to act, not just shake my booty for the crowd. (even though it was a lot of fun while it lasted and I met some amazing people)”
This is truly a somber day. Let us celebrate Ali’s memory by gawking at some of her pictures, after the jump…
Steroid accusations aside, Sean Sherk has had one of the most dominant careers in MMA. In 34 professional fights, he’s only lost twice, against superstars Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre. This fight from UFC 56 in November 2005 is Sherk’s only loss by stoppage, and his second-to-last appearance as a welterweight. As for St. Pierre, in two more matches he would be the UFC’s welterweight champion…