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Tag: Vitor Belfort

CSAC Refuses to License Josh Barnett; Bout With Emelianenko Off for ‘Affliction: Trilogy’


("Mostly-natural, baby!" Photo courtesy of MMA Mania.)

Bad news for MMA fans — and disastrous news for Affliction’s MMA promotion. Sherdog is reporting that the California State Athletic Commission will not license Josh Barnett for his fight against Fedor Emelianenko at next Saturday’s Affliction: Trilogy event due to a "positive test result." We’re assuming that means steroids and not Hep B or something, though the CSAC promises to release a detailed statement today. Barnett, who was stripped of his UFC heavyweight title in 2002 for anabolic steroid use, was surprised by the news: 

“I took my test three weeks ago. I would have thought I would have heard something by now…No matter what happens with this, I can assure you I will clear my name. This will not be something that I am defined by.”
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Vitor Belfort Draws Jorge Santiago for ‘Affliction: Trilogy’

Jorge Santiago Kazuo Misaki MMA Sengoku
(Jorge Santiago gets to his feet after choking out Kazuo Misaki in the fifth round of their title fight at Sengoku no Ran 2009, while UFC superfan Satoshi Ishii [bottom left] tries to comprehend what the hell he just witnessed. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

After racking up five-straight wins in Sengoku and earning the promotion’s middleweight belt, American Top Team fighter Jorge Santiago will be making his U.S. return at Affliction’s third event on August 1st. MMA Weekly has confirmed that the top-ten-ranked 185′er — who has gone 9-0 since leaving the UFC in 2006 — will collide with Vitor Belfort in a match that’s expected to be on "Trilogy"’s main card.

Formerly a light-heavyweight competitor in the UFC, PRIDE, and Cage Rage, Belfort has gone 2-0 as a middleweight in Affliction, with knockout victories over Terry Martin (at "Banned" last July) and Matt Lindland (at "Day of Reckoning" in January). With this bout in place, the pay-per-view lineup for Affliction’s third and not final MMA event is looking pretty kickass. Get caught up after the jump…

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Belfort Tells Mousasi to Lose Weight, Mousasi Tells Belfort to Man Up

Vitor Belfort MMA
(It’s time you and Vitor had a talk about that investment portfolio he’s been managing for you. You better sit down for this.)

Just a day after former Dream middleweight champ Gegard Mousasi told everyone that he was fighting Vitor Belfort at Affliction III this summer, Belfort has responded by saying that Mousasi needs to put down the fork if the two of them are to have any shot of getting it on. Talking to those clever translators at Tatame who can make any foray into the English language an adventure, Belfort said he hasn’t gotten any confirmation from Affliction regarding his next fight, but added:

“If they want to do this fight at 185lbs, it’s done, otherwise I see no option to go up, even because he isn’t a challenge, a man with much name. To go up, I don’t see him as a challenge. I want to fight with him in the weight he was champion (at Dream), then I think its worth."
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Bookings News: Aoki, Mousasi, Filho and More All Get Fights

Paulo Filho
(The flannel is coming back, bitches.)

Fresh off this morning’s Dream.9, which we’ll go ahead and call a success in the sense that no one died during the “ridiculously stupendous” freak show portion of the evening, Dream already has some plans for their next event, predictably titled Dream.10.  The organization announced that WAMMA lightweight champion (that’s still a real thing, right?) Shinya Aoki will face Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro in what will be Aoki’s first actual MMA fight since his TKO loss to Hayato “Mach” Sakurai.

Also at Dream.10, Melvin Manhoef will take on mercurial former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho in a fight that could be an awesome clash of styles or a complete mess.  I think we can all agree that Filho stands a good chance if he shows up in shape, focused, and not with one foot in the spirit world, but will get absolutely decapitated if he wigs out like he did against Chael Sonnen in his last fight.  Either way, it’s a strong addition to the July 20th fight card, which also includes the semi-final and final rounds of the Dream welterweight grand prix tournament, and possibly even the return of Kazushi Sakuraba.  Because hey, he’s not dead yet, and he’d prefer that the end come in the ring in front of a silent arena of Japanese fans.

In other bookings news…

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The 7 Biggest UFC Busts of All Time

#7: MAC DANZIG (Photo via Paul Thacker.) A five-time King of the Cage lightweight champion with appearances in PRIDE and the WEC, Mac Danzig was one of the most seasoned mixed martial artists to ever appear on The Ultimate Fighter, and few were surprised when he blazed past guys like Ben Saunders, War Machine, and [...]

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Must-See Videos: “MMA in January ’09,” Gono’s Big Entrance


(Props: Facey)

Our boy Matt S./"Facey" just sent us the second installment of his brilliant MMA highlight reel project, where he complies the best moments from each month into a single, convenient video. January ’09 had more than its share of killer moments, from Jose Aldo‘s knee-knockout and people’s-champ celebration at WEC 38, to the string of near-lethal KOs at "Day of Reckoning," to Jon Jones’s utter tooling of Stephan Bonnar, to Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal’s call-and-response bit at Sengoku 7. You can check out more of Matt’s work at FightFace.blogspot.com.

Below: A fan-shot video of Akihiro "Oh No" Gono‘s legendary ring-entrance at UFC 94. After the jump: The latest video trailer for UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson. Man, they’re really playing up the "London is rainy" angle…


(Props: BloodyElbow)

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Videos: Affliction “Day of Reckoning”

Be honest, when Fedor’s legs went briefly wobbly at around the 0:17 mark, you thought to yourself, ‘Oh shit, Arlovski might actually do it.’  Then Arlovski jumped into one of those "overhand murderballs" that Goldstein warned against, and you remembered, ‘Oh yeah, it’s Fedor in there.’

More videos from last night’s fights after the jump.
 

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Ben vs. Ben: Affliction “Day of Reckoning” Edition


(Looks like Andrei’s the only thing standing between Fedor and another trip to the scary rollercoasters.  That is not a safe place to stand.)

Is it sad that this installment of Ben vs. Ben is forced to dwell on questions surrounding Affliction’s possible demise?  A little, but that’s life.  We can’t just pretend that they aren’t paying Andrei Arlovski roughly 20,000 t-shirts for an event that has no clear path to a profit…or does it?  That discussion and more awaits you below.

What are the odds that this is Affliction’s last show?

BF: -300.  In other words, 3-1 odds that we’ll never see another Affliction MMA event again.  I’m not happy about that, but if I’m being honest I have to look at how difficult it’s been for them to get a second show together, how much they’ll spend on it and how little of that will be recouped in ticket sales or pay-per-view revenue, and I can’t see how they justify another money pit of a show after this.

Of course, three has always been their magic number.  That’s how many shows they said they were committed to, and it would give them the chance to put on the Josh Barnett-Fedor Emelianenko fight they’ve obviously been angling for since the start.  But if Arlovski’s getting over a million bucks for this fight, imagine what it would cost to put on Barnett-Fedor alone, not to mention the rest of the card.  It would be an obvious money-loser, and even Affliction can’t bleed cash forever.  If they don’t pull out a miracle on Saturday night, they’re going to pack it in.

BG: I really hope nobody at Affliction has their fingers crossed and breath held for this miracle of which you speak. Between Margarito/Mosley and the UFC’s usual counter-programming and market saturation, Affliction won’t even be outperforming their first event in terms of ticket sales or pay-per-view buys. But I have to assume that they already know this. Maybe Atencio & Co. are bad at running an MMA organization, but they’re not childish enough to believe that money will literally fall out of the sky. And yet they sign Gegard Mousasi to fight in their third event, and announce they’ll be promoting four events a year with Golden Boy.

I’m not Affliction’s CFO, so I don’t know how much money the company is willing to lose on this MMA pursuit. But is it naïve to think that they wouldn’t be making these concrete plans if their future really depended on the financial performance of "Day of Reckoning"? Short answer: yes. Still, I’m going to set the odds for this one at a more generous -200. Now if I could just find a gambling site that offers a parlay bet on "Affliction won’t put on a third show" + "Tito Ortiz will never fight again," I could probably make a decent profit…

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Strikeforce Payouts Prove You Can Still Get Your Bread Outside of the UFC


(‘Looks like we won’t be eating boiled down wallpaper this year, after all.’)

Tanking economy, you say?  Not in San Jose, brother.  The official fighter payouts for Strikeforce: Destruction tell a tale of a local MMA promoter that’s doing just fine, even if some of the figures are a little strange.  At least most of the Strikeforce fighters will be able to afford a Christmas now.  And not one of those shitty Christmases where you make homemade gifts and write each other poems and everyone has to pretend like a haiku about a mother’s love is just as cool as an Xbox.  No, a real Christmas.  With material goods and stuff!

Thanks, Strikeforce.  Go to hell, haiku.

Scott Smith: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
Terry Martin: $20,000
Renato “Babalu” Sobral: $50,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus)
Bobby Southworth: $20,000
Duane Ludwig: $32,500 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
Yves Edwards: $12,000
Kim Couture: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
Lina Kvokov: $1,500
Joe Riggs: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
Luke Stewart: $10,000
Bobby Stack: $5,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
Cyrillo Padilha: $2,000
Eric Lawson: $9,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
Tony Johnson: $2,000
Kurt Osiander: $9,000 (includes $4,000 win bonus)
Josh Neal: $1,550
Brian Schwartz: $28,000 (no win bonus)
Lamont Davis: $5,000
Luke Rockhold: $4,000 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
Nik Theotikos: $2,000
Darren Uyenoyama: $5,000 (includes $2,5000 win bonus)
Brad Royster: $1,500
Alvin Cacdac: $3,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
Jose Palacios: $3,000
Zakary Bucia: $2,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
Adam Steele: $1,000

Analysis…

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Affliction Snatches Up Gegard Mousasi

Gegard Mousasi MMA Affliction Dream
(Can a WAMMA belt be far behind? Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Though most casual MMA fans had never heard his name until this year, Gegard Mousasi (24-2-1) made his presence known in a big way during DREAM’s recent middleweight grand prix, cutting through highly regarded fighters Denis Kang, Melvin Manhoef, and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza to win the championship. Now he’s widely acknowledged as one of the best middleweights in the world — which is why we were hoping he’d be signed by the UFC to add some extra heat to their 185-pound division, and maybe challenge Anderson Silva for the belt one day. All that shit will have to wait, unfortunately, because it looks like Affliction got to him first. As he told Fighters Only Magazine:

“I’m going to train with Fedor in preparation for Affliction in January. I think it is Fedor against Josh Barnett and they want me to fight Vitor Belfort.”

Mousasi is part of the Red Devil International team and he shares a manager with Fedor in the shape of Vadim Finkelstein…

Affliction has yet to reveal a line-up for its January event but Vitor Belfort has told Brazil’s Tatame magazine that he has been contacted and offered a fight.

If Mousasi continues to perform like he has over the last two years, he should have no trouble whipping Belfort, Matt Lindland, and whoever else Affliction has under contract at 185. And now he’s training with Fedor too? Forget about it.

Mousasi’s claim that Emelianenko will skip straight to a fight with Barnett in January — foregoing the Arlovski/Barnett eliminator match altogether — is also interesting, but as with all rumors related to Fedor and fight-booking, we’ll believe it two weeks after it happens.

(Props: BloodyElbow)

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