(In the edited-for cable version, Lesnar says "I’m gonna drink a [Bud] Light because Bud Light [is the best], and I might even [do something special for] my wife tonight.")
The first stage in Dana White’s plan to destroy Strikeforce and piss on their ashes comes this Saturday at 10 p.m. ET/PT, as Spike will air highlights from UFC 100. The replay card will look like this:
Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping Alan Belcher vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama Stephan Bonnar vs. Mark Coleman Shannon Gugerty vs. Matt Grice Jon Jones vs. Jake O’Brien
Now that the dust has settled on his second unsuccessful run at a UFC lightweight title, it’s time for Kenny Florian to look to the future and learn from the mistakes of his past. In this interview with ProMMARadio, Florian blames his long layoff for his submission loss to BJ Penn at UFC 101, and hopes to get back in cage right away against a tough opponent. Some highlights:
On ring rust: "I didn’t think it would be a factor, just because I stayed busy throughout, I was training hard…but it definitely was. Being almost nine months away from the cage, it hurt me. With my striking, it’s always an issue…I just found that I couldn’t get my range and my timing going during the fight, and felt I wasn’t effective there. I just felt uncomfortable with my striking."
On how he was doing until he lost: "I figured that I definitely won the second and third [rounds]. The first, he caught me with a good shot, but I was kind of off-balance so it looked like I got knocked down…Going into the fourth, obviously, with where he ended up with the takedown on top, I knew he was obviously going to win that round and my goal was trying to survive and just try to make it to the fifth where I’d be able to push and try to squeeze out the win…the commissioner came over to me and said that a couple of the judges had me winning the first couple rounds, I was two to one, or one of the judges had me all three, I don’t know exactly what happened, but he told me that a couple of the judges may have had me winning."
(The Hallman/Hughes story. Could Matt Hughes be getting one more shot at revenge before he retires?)
— Anderson Silva‘s manager Ed Soares has debunked a report by Yahoo! Sports in which he was quoted as saying Silva wanted to give up his middleweight title to compete as a light-heavyweight permanently. As Soares told MMA Weekly: “It’s not true. I never said that to Dana. I have said to Dana that he’d like to fight again at 205 (but not permanently)…he wants the biggest fights possible, whether it’s at 205 or 185.” Silva and Soares still aren’t psyched about an impending rematch with Dan Henderson: "I feel a true number one (middleweight contender) would be if Henderson fought the winner of Nate Marquardt and Damian Maia…we could take another fight at 205 or a catchweight fight (in the meantime).”
If it wasn’t for bad luck, Strikeforce’s upcoming “Carano vs. Cyborg” card wouldn’t have any luck at all. Despite the best intentions, some MMA events are destined to be magnets for injuries, unwelcome surprises, and other bizarre occurrences. But which events have been screwed by fate the hardest? Knock on wood, grab your crotch, and read on…
The aptly-titled “All or Nothing” event was the first UFC pay-per-view in nearly a year to lack a title fight by the time it finally took place. That’s all the more disappointing when you consider that it had two a couple months out from the event, pitting TUF “Comeback” winners Matt Serra and Travis Lutter against the champions in their respective weight classes.
The first title fight went down the drain when Georges St. Pierre injured his knee during training and had to put off the fight with Serra (and we all remember how that went when it finally happened). Fortunately they still had Anderson Silva vs. Travis Lutter to fall back on…right? Only Lutter failed to make weight for his title shot, downgrading his “Rocky” storyline to a “Bad News Bears” one. Instead they just had themselves a normal old three-rounder, with Lutter holding his own in the first round before getting triangled/elbowed to death in the second. What fun.
As ‘zombiekilla’ mentioned in the comments section of the last post, UFC 101‘s real Fight of the Night took place in the crowd, when a group of meatheaded douchebags got a little too caught up in the action and began warring amongst themselves. As security intervened, a female meatheaded douchebag swung her purse at some other broad, then went after her with furious Brock Lesnar-style hammerfists. Everyone in the vicinity roared their approval and watched it play out, paying no attention to the Aaron Riley/Shane Nelson scrap that was going on inside the Octagon.
And so, we must amend Dana White’s beloved four corners analogy: If people are playing soccer on one corner, basketball on the second corner, street hockey on the third corner, a bunch of drunk Philadelphians are throwing haymakers on the fourth corner, and a professional mixed martial arts contest is taking place in the center of the street, people will watch the meatheads brawl every time. That’s how we know this is the sport of the future.
In a night filled with some less-than-thrilling matchups, at least Anderson Silva and BJ Penn remembered that they were in Philly — and for that, they were rewarded handsomely. Silva earned a $60,000 Knockout of the Night bonus for cleaning Forrest Griffin‘s clock in the first round of their light-heavyweight feature at UFC 101, while Penn scored a Submission of the Night bonus in honor of his fourth-round rear-naked-choke of Kenny Florian. Somewhat suprisingly, additional $60,000 Fight of the Night checks went to Silva and Griffin for their match, even though it wasn’t much of a fight. UFC 101 drew a sold-out crowd of 17,411 spectators for a live gate of $3.55 million, a combat sports record for Pennsylvania. Reportedly, almost 11,000 of those fans were already in their seats by the time the first preliminary match started.
During the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White announced that the UFC was looking to host an event at Boston’s legendary Fenway Park by next summer; the Massachusetts state senate passed a bill to regulate MMA last month. White also said that the UFC could add another event to its schedule in October, in addition to UFC 104 (October 24th, Los Angeles). Since Fedor Emelianenko is slated to make his Strikeforce debut sometime in October, the counter-programming motives are fairly obvious here. Game on…
(Look, deadlines are deadlines, Anderson. You think you’re the only employee of the Curitiba Times with a fight this weekend? Half the guys in the sales department have fights this weekend. And for God’s sake, buy a real tape recorder. / Photo courtesy of LasVegasSun.com.)
Weigh-ins for UFC 101: Declaration went down moments ago at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, with all fighters coming in at or below their contracted limits. No real surprises, expect for when Amir Sadollah cruised in at a somewhat worrisome 166.5 pounds; very unexpected for a guy who’s last fight was at middleweight. At the other end of the spectrum, Tamdan McCrory showed up to the weigh-ins in a full sweat-suit, and had to towel off before stepping on the scale, but still hit his mark on the button. The numbers are below. Swing by tomorrow night as we liveblog the pay-per-view card beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
Main Card BJ Penn (155) vs. Kenny Florian (155) Anderson Silva (205) vs. Forrest Griffin (205) Kendall Grove (185.5) vs. Ricardo Almeida (185) Josh Neer (155.5) vs. Kurt Pellegrino (154.5) Amir Sadollah (166.5) vs. Johny Hendricks (171)
Preliminary Card Shane Nelson (156) vs. Aaron Riley (154) Tamdan McCrory (170) vs. John Howard (169.5) Alessio Sakara (185.5) vs. Thales Leites (185) Dan Cramer (169.5) vs. Matt Riddle (170) George Roop (154) vs. George Sotiropoulos (155) Danillo Villefort (170.25) vs. Jesse Lennox (171)
MMA Fanhouse has confirmed that Edith Labelle — you know, the large-chested Octagon Girl who’s not Arianny or Logan — won’t be holding round cards and blowing kisses to the camera during UFC broadcasts anymore. Her manager was quoted as saying "Something happened, but at this time, I can only confirm that Edith no longer works for the UFC." Considering the rumors that swirled aroundAmber Nichole Miller‘s departure, that "something" could be nothing, or that something could be something; feel free to speculate wildly in the comments section below. Edith will be officially replaced by Maxim Octagon Girl Search winner Natasha Wicks at UFC 101 tomorrow night in Philadelphia.
Edith Labelle (born June 30, 1982), aka Edith Larente, made her debut as a UFC Octagon Girl in November 2007, but was released by the company after falling ill at UFC 100 in July 2009. Hailing from Mont-Laurier, Quebec, Edith Labelle worked as a semi-nude model before joining the UFC, and was best known as "Anabelle" from FlashyBabes.com. Outside of her appearance in a low-budget sci-fi movie in 2009, we have no idea what Edith’s been up to since leaving the UFC.