Written By Jordan Maskell
With the news that Frank Mir will enter the Strikeforce cage to face David Cormier, the question is how many more UFC-Strikeforce bouts will we see in the future? The most recent cross promotion bout announced looks to be the first within Strikeforce. However, this is following a string of Strikeforce crossovers with former champions including Nick Diaz, Jake Shields, Dan Henderson, and Allistar Overeem making the transition to the Octagon.
It has been revealed that the Strikeforce Heavyweight division will eventually be dissolved, as after this fight both Mir and Cormier will compete solely in the UFC. This will be done to focus on developing the depth of other weight classes, including a women’s division within the company. Many former Strikeforce Heavyweights have already entered the UFC including Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Shane del Rosario, Shawn Jordan, and of course Overeem.
Until now, both rosters have been considered exclusive to its respected promotion, although there have been exceptions to this rule. UFC President Dana White has said in the past that fighters from Strikeforce will not crossover to the UFC while there is a deal between Showtime and Strikeforce. The company was bought by the UFC’s parent company Zuffa in March 2011. He has said before he would not sign Strikeforce fighters while they were contracted with Strikeforce due to the deal with Showtime.
MMAxposed reporter Matt Marcone caught up with Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy at the “Heroes” comic book store in Woodbridge, Ontario. It was an awesome event that had everything from real transformers cars to memorabilia to exotic animals in the petting zoo. Not too often do an MMA fighter, batman, iron man, bumblebee, two camels and a lemur all get to hang out in one place!
He was one of the nicest guys we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and bluntly spoke about having to rediscover his passion for mixed martial arts.
Hardy stormed onto the UFC welterweight scene in 2008, winning four in a row and earning a title shot against Georges St. Pierre. After losing a decision to the reigning champ, Hardy consecutively dropped three more fights to Carlos Condit, Anthony Johnson and Chris Lytle.
Due to his fast paced style and willingness to push the action, the UFC opted not to cut him and gave him another fight against Duane Ludwig. Their decision proved to be justified as he knocked him out with a devastating hook in the first round.
In the interview, Hardy opens up about star wars, his upcoming fight with TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah, and finding his spirituality. He also gives his prediction for the upcoming title fight between St. Pierre and Condit, two guys he’s very familiar with.
Hardy’s bout with Sadollah is scheduled for September 29, 2012 in his hometown of Nottingham, England at the UFC on FUEL TV 5.
By: Matt Marcone
Seven fights were refurbished due to the injury bug at UFC 149 in Calgary and the results were not pretty.
“We broke the gate record here tonight and I’m embarrassed by it,” says UFC President Dana White. “The undercard delivered, they were awesome. The main card did not.”
The main event saw Renan Barao capture the interim bantamweight championship after outpointing Urijah Faber for five straight rounds. It was a highly technical fight that was plagued by boos and chants of “refund.”
A crushing knee in the first broke Faber’s ribs, successfully shutting down most of his offense the rest of the night. Barao now faces 135-pound kingpin Dominick Cruz as soon as he recovers from last month’s ACL surgery.
The co-main event truly disappointed as Hector Lombard’s 24-fight winning streak came to an end at the hands of Tim Boetsch. It may have been a case of octagon jitters, but Boetsch managed to take a split decision over a guy many thought could be Anderson Silva’s next challenger.
“It’s the unfortunate thing about hype,” says White. “When there’s a lot of hype behind you and you don’t live up to it, it goes away pretty quick.”
Boetsch is now 4-0 at middleweight and a serious contender, having previously finished Yushin Okami. Vegas odds makers called Boetsch a 4-1 underdog and his accomplishment should not go unnoticed, considering he broke his foot in the second round.
In perhaps the biggest snooze fest of the night, heavyweight Cheick Kongo shut down Shawn Jordan by pressing him against the cage for three full rounds. The only highlight was an inside elbow that caught Kongo’s groin in round one.
Written By Jordan Maskell
Bellator returns tonight with the second installment of the Bellator Fighting Championships: 2012 Summer Series. The event is at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida and will be headlined by the Bellator season six welterweight tournament final between Bryan “The Beast” Baker (18-3-0) and “Psycho” Karl Amoussou (15-4-2). The winner of the tournament will get a shot at the welterweight title.
Bellator 72 will feature the debut of former UFC and Strikeforce welterweight Paul Daley. Daley (29-12-2), will take on Rudy Bears (14-10-0) in his first fight since being released by Strikeforce. Daley has had problems making weight in the past, but had no issue this time weighing in at 170.25 pounds.
The Bellator summer series light heavyweight tournament continues with the semifinals as Tim Carpenter meets Travis Wiuff and Emanuel Newton takes on Attila Vegh. All the quarterfinal matchups at Bellator 71 ended either with a submission or TKO win, which builds the hype for the semifinals that much more. (more…)
Written By Jordan Maskell
The first UFC event in Calgary, Alberta, Canada will happen this Saturday night. The event, scheduled to take place at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, will be headlined by an Interim Bantamweight title bout between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao. A slew of injuries has plagued the July 21st event, with names including Michael Bisping, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria, and Thiago Alves having to be pulled, and the card being rescheduled multiple times.
The third fight between Faber and current Bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz, originally set for UFC 148, was moved to the card until Cruz had to withdraw as well due to a knee injury. Therefore an interim belt was created. Faber is coming off a “submission of the night” win over Brian Bowles at UFC 139, while Barao has had 29 fights without a loss.
UFC 149 will also feature the promotional debut of Middleweight Hector Lombard. Lombard is currently on a 20-fight win streak since drawing with Kyle Noke in 2007. The former Bellator, CFC, and AFC Middleweight champion will face Tim Boetsch, who’s original opponent Bisping, had to withdraw due to injury. Many consider Lombard to be a legitimate contender for Anderson Silva’s Middleweight title and see this bout as a title eliminator. Boetsch is on a three-fight win streak himself, getting a come-from-behind third round TKO victory over Yushin Okami at UFC 144.
Written By Dwight Wakabayashi
Following a false start in January, Sudbury native Mitch “The Machine” Gagnon is set to make his UFC debut this Saturday night on the undercard of UFC 149 from Calgary. It is really a night of Canadian debuts as, Gagnon and fellow Canadian fighter Ryan Jimmo are both getting their first crack at the big time.
Gagnon stated on Twitter earlier this week that he is currently reading UFC 149 headliner Urijah Faber’s book, and he better hope to learn something from it. The Team Shredder product out of northern Ontario will be in tough competition against Team Alpha Male fighter Bryan Caraway. Caraway brings some good experience to the cage, coming off a win against Dustin Neace in his own UFC debut last December. Caraway has fought some very tough opponents in his career, with notable losses to Mark Hominick and Fredson Paxaio. His twenty-one fights to Gagnon’s nine give a clear edge in experience to the American.
Gagnon is a very strong, compact fighter and his ground game is tremendous. He holds a Canadian regional title and has fought and beaten some tough local talent. This is a nice match up for him to get his feet wet in the UFC with his strength being his key to victory. Caraway is also a submission wizard with 14 of his 16 professional wins coming via tap. He poses a formidable challenge for Gagnon and will definitely surprise and make some noise if he wins on Saturday night.
Gagnon has not fought since he defeated David Harris at Ringside MMA 12 in October of last year and cage rust could be a factor going in to this fight. A saving grace may be the fact that Caraway hasn’t fought this year either so they will both be willing and eager combatants.
Gagnon is one of six Canadian fighters on the preliminary card with a seventh, Adrenaline welterweight Chris Clements the only Canadian on the main card. Clements stepped in for an injured Thiago Alves against opponent Siyar Bahadurzada, but will now face another replacement in the always game Matt Riddle. The Calgary card has been plagued by injuries and is virtually unrecognizable to the original card that was announced months ago.
The seemingly cursed card has lost the likes of Yoshihiro Akiyama, Thiago Alves, Thiago Silva, Mauricio Rua, Michael Bisping and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to injury or pull out. Yet in a true show of the depth of the UFC roster they have been replaced by such stars and notables as Urijah Faber, Renan Barao, Hector Lombard, Tim Boetsch, Bryan Ebersole and Chris Clements. The card remains full of world class fighters who should not be overlooked. Due to the revolving door of fighters on and off the card, this event is under-hyped and could over perform among the many over-hyped and anticlimactic cards we have experienced in the past. Don’t sleep on it.
Written By Randi Lotsberg
Ontario MMA fans and fighters got some great news today! The Score Fighting Series is back at the Hamilton Place Theatre on Saturday, August 25th for its fifth event since the province legalized the sport. Action has been lacking on the local MMA scene in 2012, but every show the Score Fighting Series puts on just keeps getting better. They are doing an excellent job giving fans of the sport an opportunity to be able to watch great up and coming fighters in an intimate environment.
I have had the chance to speak with many fighters over the past few months and these guys are hungry, eager and ready to get into the cage. With such a long wait between fights for some of these guys, I am certain it’s going to make for an extra burst of highly intensified action. These men are ready for battle!!
The main event on the card will be a bantamweight showdown between John “Haggis Basher” Fraser and Josh “Gentlemen” Hill. This bout has been highly anticipated for some time now. Fraser, 34, is a Sarnia, Ontario native with a record of 10-3 and is riding a seven fight win streak. The 25-year-old Hill resides in Binbrook, Ontario and is currently 8-0. Both of these skilled athletes have a lot on the line in this one, with a win likely propelling either of these men to the next level in their professional MMA careers. With that being said it is a great opportunity to be able to see them live in action before they make it to the UFC.
Other amazing Canadian talent on the card includes: Tristan Johnson (7-2), Will Romero (9-3), Lyndon Whitlock (7-2), Alex Ricci (5-0), Ryan Dickson (2-0), Jason Meisel (3-0), Jason Saggo (6-1), Elias Theodorou (4-0), Adam Assenza (1-1), Rory Mcdonell (5-6) and Robert Thomas (0-0). Their opponents are still to be decided.
Tickets start at $30 and go on sale on Monday, July 23 at ticketmaster.ca, Copps Coliseum box office and from local fighters on the card. The entire show will be streamed live on thescore.com and for the first time ever, the main card fights will be carried live on The Score television network starting at 9 p.m. EST.
Pro Fighter Chris Clements gives us a behind the scenes look into his home. Stay tuned for our upcoming video “Chris Clements on Cloud 9″ which will take you further in depth into his life getting married, becoming a dad and making his UFC debut.
Follow Chris on Twitter @menaceclements
By: Matt Marcone
The greatest MMA fighter of all time has done it again.
After getting controlled by Chael Sonnen in the first round, Anderson Silva came back with a flurry in the second to earn knockout of the night. Sonnen missed a spinning back fist and ended up losing his balance, allowing the champion to take advantage.
The two rivals embraced each other during the post fight interviews, with Silva even offering to cook him some Brazilian barbeque.
“You always shake hands and you always leave it in the octagon,” says Sonnen, who relentlessly attacked Silva in the months leading up to the fight. “Those are the rules and I stick to them.”
Silva extends his UFC record to an unprecedented 15-0, while Sonnen says he does not take comfort knowing he almost beat the champ… twice.
“It’s pass or fail, that’s it,” says Sonnen. “He’s just a regular guy, we weigh the same thing and he finds a way to win. I admire it.”
This veteran fighter doesn’t necessarily need a Bruce Buffer introduction, but ‘The Pride of El Salvador’ Ivan Menjivar (24-8) will get it this weekend at UFC 148. Ivan will be going for his fourth straight victory in the UFC. His opponent will be Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Mike Easton (12-1) from Alliance MMA under Lloyd Irvin. Mike is currently on a seven fight win streak. Ivan believes that Mike has great hands to go along with his prolific ground skills and has been forced to train smart for this match up. His fight camp has once again been under the tutelage of one of the best in the business Firas Zahabi from Tri Star Gym in Montreal, Canada. These Bantamweights will square off this Saturday, in the under card, of the highly anticipated re match between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. Menjivar rarely disappoints when it comes to putting on crowd pleasing performances. The Menjivar/Easton combination lends itself to have all the makings of a fight of the night honour. Menjivar already holds a submission of the night honour in the UFC. Ivan says he just appreciates the opportunity that the UFC is giving him and he just wants to face-off Saturday night and put on a great show for the fans!