UFC 131 Press Conference Highlights

Thursday, June 9, 2011

By FCF Staff

Vancouver’s Jack Poole Plaza hosted the pre-fight press conference for this Saturday’s UFC 131 event, which will be hosted by the city’s Rogers Centre. The card will be headlined by a bout between heavyweight contenders Junior dos Santos and Shane Carwin.

Here are some of today's highlights:

UFC President Dana White is not concerned about the fact that Saturday’s event is not sold out yet, in stark contrast to the quick sell out that occurred for the promotion’s Vancouver debut last year. White insisted that the UFC will return to the Olympic City once again.

White said they’re “working on” the promotion’s first event in China, after opening an office in Beijing recently.

Kenny Florian said moving his camp to the renowned Tri Star Gym in Montreal, home of welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and trainer Firas Zihabi is one of “the best decisions” he’s made.

Shane Carwin conceded that Junior dos Santos has “great boxing” and is one of the world’s top heavyweights.

White would not confirm recent reports that the UFC is looking to acquire a controlling interest in Comcast’s G4 cable network, before admitting that they are “talking to everyone” as the promotion’s current broadcasting deal with Spike winds down.

Dos Santos says he is still happy that he decided to fight at UFC 131 rather than wait for current champion Cain Velasquez to recover from shoulder surgery.

White was quick to compliment Yves Edwards when asked if he’s glad that the lightweight veteran is back in the UFC, adding that he expects the Edwards, Sam Stout fight to be a “war.”

Diego Nunes said Saturday’s bout with Florian “is a dream come true,” before White added that if Nunes indeed beats Florian it will be a “life changing” fight.

White acknowledged that the UFC has plans to promote an event in Sweden, saying that they had hoped to have a card there “soon.”

When asked if the winner of Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand-Prix could wind up facing one of the UFC’s top ranked heavyweights , White said he had “no clue” if it such a cross promotional match-up was possible at this juncture.

Carwin said he wishes former champion Brock Lesnar all the best as he recovers from the recent surgery that was required to address another bout of diverticulitis.

Florian said his weight cut to 145lbs. has been going “smoothly” and has been easier than he originally anticipated. 

Nunes stated he would be willing to fight his friend and current featherweight champion Jose Aldo, if the opportunity arises.
READ MORE - UFC 131 Press Conference Highlights

MFC 30 “Up Close & Personal” Weigh-In Results

By FCF Staff

The Maximum Fighting Championship held the official weigh-ins this afternoon in preparation for the promotion’s thirtieth event tomorrow night in Edmonton, Alberta. MFC 30, “Up Close and Personal”, will be hosted by the city’s Mayfield Conference Centre.

The card will feature two main events with UFC vets, as lightweight Drew Fickett will meet Brian Cobb and Marcus Davis (pictured) will battle welterweight Pete Spratt.

Here are the official weigh-in results for MFC 30, which will be broadcast live on HDNet.

Co-Main Event - Lightweight
Brian Cobb - 155.4
Drew Fickett - 155.5

Co-Main Event - Welterweight
Pete Spratt - 170.6
Marcus Davis - 170.1

Catchweight - 165 lbs
Thomas Denny - 163.5
Sheldon Westcott - 165.8

Jamie Toney - 168.4
Dhiego Lima - 170.6

Robert Washington - 159.6*
Curtis Demarce - 155.6

Andreas Spang - 185.8
Cody Krahn -

Scott Cleve - 154.5
Mukai Maromo - 155.1

Jevon Marshall - 156.1
Garrett Nybakken - 154.5

*Robert Washington fails to make weight and loses 20% of his purse

READ MORE - MFC 30 “Up Close & Personal” Weigh-In Results

Video: "KJ Noons Uncaged" Episode 2

By FCF Staff

“KJ Noons Uncaged” is a video series that documents the fighter’s efforts to prepare for his upcoming bout with Jorge Masvidal, June 18th, in Dallas, Texas. Episode two, below, includes Noons training with Joe Duarte, Saul Malindo, and Rich Powers, as well as the experienced boxer sparring at the Fortune Gym in Los Angeles.

READ MORE - Video: "KJ Noons Uncaged" Episode 2

Video: M-1 Challenge XXVI Pat Bennett Diary Pt.1

By FCF Staff

Below is the first episode in an ongoing diary series from Pat Bennett, who will challenge M-1 Global heavyweight champion Guram Gugenishvili on July 8th.

The  6’2, 240lb. plus Bennett, who is a member of New York State’s Team Bombsquad, is coming off a unanimous decision win over Alexander Volkov in December. FCF also spoke with Bennett about his upcoming bout last month.

READ MORE - Video: M-1 Challenge XXVI Pat Bennett Diary Pt.1

Report: UFC in Talks to Acquire Controlling Interest of G4 Network

By FCF Staff

Talk of an Ultimate Fighting Championship channel is on the rise, as both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are reporting that the MMA promotion is in talks with Comcast to acquire a controlling interest of the company’s G4 gaming network. According to the report from the New York Times, sources have informed the media outlet that the UFC is considering taking a 60% or more ownership stake in the G4 channel.

The timing of the reports is intriguing, as the UFC and its current partner Spike TV, will conclude a six year broadcasting arrangement at the end of the year. The New York Times is reporting that negotiations between the two companies broke down after the UFC allegedly asked for a $325 million annual broadcasting fee.

While the UFC and Spike have shared numerous broadcasting successes, the television ratings for the recently concluded 13th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” were lower than expected.

The Times report furthers that Spike executives are believed to be exploring other alternatives for MMA content, including Bellator FC bouts, which currently air on MTV 2. Both Spike and MTV 2 are owned by Viacom.

G4’s current parent company, Comcast, also controls the NBC and Versus Networks, the latter of which also has a broadcasting deal with the UFC. Due to its emphasis on video games, the reportedly struggling G4 network targets the same male18-34 year-old demographic as Spike.

UFC President Dana White has publicly stated in the past that the promotion is interested in creating its own cable network. 

READ MORE - Report: UFC in Talks to Acquire Controlling Interest of G4 Network

Luke Rockhold Surprised but Excited to be Challenging “Jacare” Souza

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

By Kelsey Mowatt

For a couple of years now, Luke Rockhold has been working his way up the Strikeforce middleweight rankings, affirming his status as one the promotion’s top prospects by winning six straight fights. While the American Kickboxing Academy fighter’s success has certainly turned heads throughout the sport, injuries have prevented Rockhold from competing since February, 2010, when he stopped Paul Bradley in the first round. Despite the extended layoff, however, Strikeforce has turned to the 26 year-old-fighter to have him challenge middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in September. The recent announcement may have surprised some, including Rockhold, but that shouldn’t diminish the importance of the fight. (Pictured: Rockhold hitting Paul Bradley)

“I’m definitely surprised but it was a glancing thought,” Rockhold told FCF while discussing his upcoming title shot. “It bounced through my head once and then I think it went straight out. I was thinking about the fact that all of the contenders have really beaten themselves out. “Mayhem” (Miller) has already gone to the UFC, Tim Kennedy lost, Robbie (Lawler) just lost; there wasn’t that many contenders and a lot of them lost. So, I was really the only one even though I was coming off a layoff. I didn’t really think it was a possibility but I was playing around with it in my head a little bit.”

There’s no question that the upcoming bout will be the biggest of Rockhold’s career to date, and with the recent Zuffa acquisition of Strikeforce, the opportunities that come with being a Strikeforce champion have likely never been greater.

“This could lead into a lot of big things,” said Rockhold while discussing the magnitude of his bout with “Jacare.” “We don’t really know what’s going to come from all of this so it means a lot, especially if at some point Strikeforce happens to close down...To jump into the UFC with the belt would mean a lot for me.”

“I’m just focused on beating Jacare,” Rockhold added. “I’ve been with Strikeforce for a while; I’ve always dreamed about being a champion and I always dreamed that I would be. So my dream is finally coming true and this is what I want. I’m really excited.”

Of course, another key reason Rockold’s next fight is of the utmost importance, is due to the fact he will be facing one of the world’s top middleweights in Souza. Since the renowned jiu-jitsu competitor has arrived in Strikeforce, Souza has defeated Matt Lindland, Joey Villasenor, Tim Kennedy and Robbie Lawler.

“I’ve been watching Jacare for so long,” Rockhold said. “I follow jiu-jitsu and I competed in jiu-jitsu for years. I followed Jacare way before he started fighting. I know him in and out and I know everything about him. He’s definitely a very dangerous grappler; he’s real strong, real explosive.”

“He’s definitely a real technical guy, but I think he’s gotten away in some of his fights in the past with his athleticism, his control and strength. I think he tends to use that a lot but I think in this fight that’s going to be a problem for him because I can match a lot of those attributes.”

Rockhold was scheduled to face Matt Lindland last October, but was forced to withdraw after injuring his shoulder. According to the AKA fighter, however, the injury will not play a factor in the upcoming title fight.

“It’s almost 100% but it’s not quite there,” said Rockhold. “With AC (acromioclavicular) separations it’s tough. I never had any surgery. I saw the doctor and had a series of cortisone shots to clear out the inflammation; initiate the healing process. I re-injured it, and had to go through it all again, but I feel near 100% finally...This last month it’s really turned the corner finally.”

READ MORE - Luke Rockhold Surprised but Excited to be Challenging “Jacare” Souza

Update: Commission Cleared Gina Carano to Fight June 18TH

By FCF Staff

Yesterday Strikeforce and Gina Carano announced that the fighter would not face Sarah D’Alelio as scheduled June 18th, due to the fact that she had not received “medical clearance” to compete. According to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, however, the bout’s postponement had nothing to do with Carano failing to meet any of its requirements.

Susan Stanford, a public information officer for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, confirmed to FCF today that Carano was cleared by the institution to fight June 18th and that the fighter passed all requirements including those that are medical.

No new information regarding Carano’s condition has been released from Strikeforce or Zuffa. As of a couple of weeks ago, Carano still had yet to turn in her bout agreement. Her agent, Scott Karp, informed FCF she would be doing so shortly.

Carano released the following statement yesterday:

“I’m certainly disappointed not to be fighting on June 18th. I’d like to thank Greg Jackson and Team Jackson for such an amazing camp. I hope this is only a brief setback.”

The 7-1 fighter hasn’t competed since August, 2009, when Carano was stopped by current Strikeforce 145lb. women’s champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos.

READ MORE - Update: Commission Cleared Gina Carano to Fight June 18TH

UFC 131 Weigh-Ins Moved Due to Vancouver Canuck’s Playoff Run

By FCF Staff

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced that the official UFC 131 weigh-ins, scheduled for Friday at 2:00PM PST, will no longer take place at Vancouver’s Roger Centre. According to the promotion’s official Twitter account the event has been moved to the city’s Jack Poole Plaza, the location of the 2010 Olympic Cauldron.

The Plaza is located beside the Vancouver Convention Centre (pictured) in the city’s downtown, northern waterfront.

The move was made due to the fact that the city’s National Hockey League team, the Vancouver Canucks, will play the Boston Bruins Friday at Rogers Centre in game five of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Friday’s weigh-ins are open to the public. UFC 131 will feature a heavyweight bout between contender Junior dos Santos and Shane Carwin in the main event. Rogers Centre will host the event. 

photo credit Greg Baker / Wikimedia
READ MORE - UFC 131 Weigh-Ins Moved Due to Vancouver Canuck’s Playoff Run