Nick Ring vs. Riki Fukuda Confirmed for UFC 127

Friday, December 24, 2010

By FCF Staff

Former “Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 competitor Nick Ring will make his official UFC debut against Deep middleweight champ Riki Fukuda, February 26th in Sydney, Australia.

Ring was the top pick in the eleventh season of the UFC’s reality program, but after defeating the show’s eventual  winner Court McGee by majority decision, the veteran was forced to withdraw due to a knee injury. Ring underwent surgery to fix his ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and has not competed since.

The Calgary middleweight is 10-0 to date in his MMA career and had his last official pro bout in September, 2009, when he submitted Yannick Gallipeau at an Aggression MMA event.

Fukuda (17-4) becomes the latest accomplished Japanese fighter to be signed to the UFC, and will head into his Octagon debut riding a seven fight winning streak. Fukuda is coming off a TKO stoppage of Ryota Sakurai in October and holds a win over Murilo “Ninja” Rua during his current undefeated run.

UFC 127 will be headlined by a welterweight bout between former champion BJ Penn and perennial contender Jon Fitch. Some of the other bouts that have been confirmed for the card include middleweight Michael Bisping vs. Jorge Rivera, lightweight Dennis Siver vs. George Sotiropoulos and Carlos Condit vs. welterweight Chris Lytle.

The event will be hosted by Sydney’s Acer Arena.

READ MORE - Nick Ring vs. Riki Fukuda Confirmed for UFC 127

New FCF Radio with Jim Miller

On this episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, it's time to review the last-ever World Extreme Cagefighting where Anthony "Showtime" Pettis took the WEC belt from Ben Henderson with a performance that will go down in the history books. Will anyone ever be able to do that same jumping kick again?  Was it a one-time thing? How many people have injured themselves trying to do that same thing by bouncing off unstable surfaces? These are just a few questions to ask.  Also, what is up with Dominic Cruz vs. Scotty Jorgensen?  Was that a vivid re-enactment of child abuse? Now what will happen with the WEC fighters heading to the Ultimate Fighting Championship; where Pettis will fight the winner of Gray Maynard vs. Frankie Edgar for the UFC belt?  Tune in and hear all this; plus valuable tips on how to do all your Christmas shopping in one hour no matter how many people you have to shop for.  What's the secret?  Here's a hint: Don't care much about what you get them. 

Speaking of not caring, if Kazushi Sakuraba keeps fighting, he's going to die but Dream doesn't care and they're throwing him into the ring again; this time against Marius Zaromskis on New Year's Eve.  Also, word is Alistair Overeem is fighting Todd Duffee on the same card.  What's going to happen there?  Is this the first time that an MMA fighter has won the K-1 Grand Prix Tournament Championship?  Or is Overeem basically a kickboxer who has had an awful lot of success in MMA?  Hear these questions ferociously debated and catch the rest of the Dream card, which also features Shinya Aoki, Bob Sapp and Josh Thomson vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri. 

Then, hang around as Jim Miller stops in to chat about his recent win in the octagon and his thoughts on the WEC and UFC merger, plus the upcoming lightweight title fight.  Ho ho ho.  It's a stocking stuffed with MMA info-tainment.
READ MORE - New FCF Radio with Jim Miller

GSP Wins Sportsnet Canadian Athlete of the Year for a Third Time

Thursday, December 23, 2010

By FCF Staff

Just days removed from his dominant, unanimous decision win over Josh Koscheck at UFC 124, UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has been named Sportnet’s Canadian Athlete of the Year for the third year in a row. According to the Canadian sports television network, St. Pierre edged out National Hockey League superstar Sydney Crosby in the online fan voting, which determines each year’s winner.

"Winning the Rogers Sportsnet Canadian Athlete of the Year award for the third time means a lot to me," St-Pierre was quoted saying on the official Sportsnet site. "This year there were a lot of nominees that I really respect, so I am honoured that the fans chose me. Thanks to all my fans for their support."

St. Pierre competed twice in 2010, scoring a UD win over Dan Hardy in March, before defeating his long time rival and fellow “Ultimate Fighter” coach Koscheck earlier this month. The 29 year-old Montreal resident has won eight straight bouts.

Some of the other Canadian athletes St. Pierre surpassed in voting included baseball’s National League MVP winner Joey Votto and the NHL’s Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Toews.

With the win, St. Pierre moves ahead of basketball star Steve Nash in consecutive Canadian Athlete of the Year victories, who was awarded the Sportsnet honor in 2005 and 2006.
READ MORE - GSP Wins Sportsnet Canadian Athlete of the Year for a Third Time

Video: Best of M-1 Global in 2010: Taisumov vs. Boussuge

By FCF Staff

M-1 Global is counting down the best fights to take place under the promotion's banner in 2010. At #9, is 
a lightweight tilt between Mairbek Taisumov and Julien Boussuge, which took place May 29, 2010 at the Helsinki Ice Hall in Helsinki Finland.

READ MORE - Video: Best of M-1 Global in 2010: Taisumov vs. Boussuge

Daniel Gracie to Fight in Bellator Season Four

By FCF Staff

Bellator Fighting Championship has added another notable name to its roster, as Pride vet Daniel Gracie has signed with the promotion and will compete in its upcoming, season four, light-heavyweight tournament.

“The Gracie family has truly influenced MMA as we know it today and I’m proud to say that heritage continues when Daniel steps into the Bellator cage to try to become our Light Heavyweight Champion” Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney was quoted saying in a press release. “A Gracie back in the tournament format is reminiscent of the days when the Gracie’s dominated MMA and that’s something I’m excited to see”.

Gracie (5-2-1) recently returned to MMA competition for the first time in three years, and tapped out Martin Wojcik with a first round, rear-naked-choke at Israel Fighting Championship’s debut card on November 9th. Gracie’s previous bout took place in November, 2006, when he was stopped by Allan Goes while competing under the International Fight League banner. The fourth degree BJJ black belt also holds wins over Wes Sims, Wataru Sakata and Shinsuke Nakamura.

“This Bellator tournament is the Gracies getting back to our origins,” said Gracie. “The tournament is the way the Gracies got started in MMA. That will give me extra motivation to win this tournament.”

“I'm imagining myself winning this tournament, I have nothing but winning this tournament on my mind right now,” said Gracie. “Of course I know that anything can happen in MMA, but one thing I guarantee everyone that tunes in is that I'm going to put on a great show. You can bet on that.”

No information as to when Gracie will make his Bellator debut was given.
READ MORE - Daniel Gracie to Fight in Bellator Season Four

Video: Vinny Magalhaes vs. Alihan Magomedov

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

By FCF Staff Photo Courtesy M-1 Global

Video of UFC vet and renowned jiu-jitsu competitor Vinny Magalhaes facing  Russian Pancrase champ Alihan Magomedov, at M-1 Challenge 22 on December 10th.

READ MORE - Video: Vinny Magalhaes vs. Alihan Magomedov

Overeem Amongst Several Additions for Dream’s NYE Dynamite!

By FCF Staff

In keeping with tradition, Dream continues to add notable names to the line-up for its upcoming New Year’s Eve Dynamite card in Saitama, Japan. Today the promotion not only announced that Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem will compete at the event, Sergei Kharitonov vs. Tatsuya Mizuno and Satoshi Ishii vs. Jerome Le Banner has been confirmed for the card. (Pictured: Overeem)

Overeem (33-11), who recently added to his credentials by winning the K-1 World Grand Prix, hasn’t competed in a MMA bout since May, when he stopped Brett Rogers. No opponent for the heavyweight has been announced yet.

Ishii (3-1) will head into his bout with Le Banner having won three straight bouts, after the Judo Olympic Gold Medalist lost by decision to Hidehiko Yoshida, at Dream’s NYE Dynamite card last year.

Le Banner (3-1-1) has not competed in a MMA bout since 2006, when the accomplished kickboxer knocked out Jimmy Ambriz at K-1’s fourth Hero’s event.

Kharitonov (16-4) will return to the MMA ring for the first time since April, 2009, when he was submitted by Jeff Monson. The loss ended a three fight winning streak for the Russian heavyweight, which included a 2007, KO win over Overeem.

Mizuno (8-6) is coming off a submission loss to Gegard Mousasi in September, after winning three consecutive bouts; a run which saw the Japanese fighter submit Melvin Manhoef under the Dream banner in July.

Some of the other bouts that Dynamite will feature include Dream welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis vs. Kazushi Sakuraba, featherweight champ Bibiano Fernandes vs. Hiroyuki Takaya, Josh Thomson vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Jason High vs. Hayato Sakurai.

The event will be broadcast throughout North America on HDNet.
READ MORE - Overeem Amongst Several Additions for Dream’s NYE Dynamite!

Diaz vs. “”Cyborg”, Souza vs. Lawler Confirmed for Jan. 29th

By FCF Staff

Strikeforce has begun unveiling the line-up for the promotion’s upcoming January 29th event in San Jose, California, and the card will feature two championship fights. At welterweight, champion Nick Diaz will look to defend against challenger Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, while middleweight champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will face veteran Robbie Lawler. (Pictured: Souza hitting Tim Kennedy)

The event, which will be hosted by San Jose’s HP Pavilion, will be broadcast on Showtime.

Diaz (23-7) continued to impress throughout 2010, earning victories over Dream champion Marius Zaromskis, Hayato Sakurai and former Elite XC champ, KJ Noons. The Cesar Gracie fighter will head into the bout riding an eight fight winning streak.

The former middleweight Santos (18-13) is coming off back-to-back stoppage victories over Daniel Zarate and the aforementioned Zaromskis. The Brazilian vet is 3-2 in his last five bouts.

Souza (13-2) further entrenched his status this year as an emerging top rank middleweight; as the decorated grappler scored a decision win over Tim Kennedy in August, to become Strikeforce champ. In May, Souza also defeated Joey Villasenor by UD.

Lawler (18-6) is coming off a brutal knock-out win over the veteran Matt Lindland earlier this month. In other 2010 bouts, Lawler KO’d Melvin Manhoef in January, before losing by unanimous decision to Renato Sobral in June.

Strikeforce has also announced that undefeated light-heavyweight, Roger Gracie (3-0), will fight veteran Trevor Prangley (23-6-1).

Gracie fought for the first time since 2008 this past May, and submitted Kevin Randleman with a second round, rear-naked-choke. The renowned jiu-jitsu practitioner has previous wins over Yuki Kondo and Ron Waterman.

Prangley last competed in September, when he scored a split decision victory over fellow UFC vet Keith Jardine. In June, Prangley lost by first round submission to the aforementioned Kennedy.

The promotion has also confirmed that NFL legend Herschel Walker (1-0) will take on Scott Carson (4-1) at the January 29th event. The two had originally been scheduled to fight December 4th; however, Walker sustained a cut in training and the bout was postponed.

READ MORE - Diaz vs. “”Cyborg”, Souza vs. Lawler Confirmed for Jan. 29th

Ian Loveland Targeting Top Bantamweights in 2011

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

By Kelsey Mowatt, photo courtesy Team Quest

Despite dominating featherweight Tyler Toner for the unanimous decision win on December 4th, winning his UFC debut in the process and extending his winning streak to seven, Ian “The Barn Owl” Loveland believes his days competing at 145lbs. are numbered. With a successful 2010 campaign now coming to a close, the Team Quest fighter is hoping to make the UFC bantamweight division his home in 2011, and Loveland plans on making some noise.

“The last fight I had before this last one was at bantamweight and I felt really good,” Loveland told Full Contact Fighter. “I feel really good at the weight so that’s where I plan on making my mark.”

“I want to start getting up there with the top guys,” Loveland added while discussing his aspirations for next year. “I don’t know every single guy in the bantamweight division, or where everyone is at in the rankings, but I want to get right in there and start climbing up. I want to start knocking off dudes right and left.”

Loveland demonstrated he has a well rounded arsenal to draw from in his decision win over Toner, relying on a punishing ground-and-pound game and powerful strikes from his feet, to outscore the resilient WEC vet.

“I think I can strike with anybody in the world, especially if I’m in top condition, I can strike with anyone out there,” said Loveland when asked about the striking element to his game. “My background is in Tae Kwon Do as well as wrestling. I started Tae Kwon Do when I was like five years old and did it when I started wrestling in high school. So, it’s not the same, but there are things you can pick up from it, like how to use your body and use new techniques.”

Another of the story lines that was tied to Loveland’s fourteenth professional victory was that the Oregon fighter stepped in on short notice, to take the fight with Toner. Despite having not fought since April, when Loveland scored a TKO win over Xavier Desrochers at a Wreck MMA event, fatigue did not end up playing a deciding factor.

“Well I was really happy with getting a win in the UFC but don’t feel like that’s the best I can do,” Loveland said. “I took the fight on like nine, ten days notice; I was training, but it’s different when you’ve been training for a fight. You get that extra fire to push that much harder, so I definitely feel like I’m going to be in a lot better shape for my next fight in the UFC and perform that much better.”

With the top of the bantamweight division as his target for the coming year, Loveland understands that more work will have to be put in to improve his game in all areas.

“I don’t think there’s one area specifically,” said the Sport Fight veteran while discussing what he needs to do to achieve his goals over the coming months. “I’ve worked a lot on my submission defense and I think it’s gotten a lot better. Four, five years ago, even up to three years ago, that was my weakness, but I think I’ve sealed up that whole pretty good. I just need to get better all around from here on out.”

(Loveland wanted to thank his sponsor Lamiglas Fishing Rods for their support)

READ MORE - Ian Loveland Targeting Top Bantamweights in 2011

Chonan vs. Hornbuckle, Fujii vs. Fujino Confirmed for “Soul of Fight”

Monday, December 20, 2010

By FCF Staff

World Victory Road’s upcoming December 30th “Sengoku: Soul of Fight” now has 15 MMA bouts secured for the all-day event, as the promotion has confirmed that Dan Hornbuckle will fight Ryo Chonan, and Megumi Fujii will face Emi Fujino.

Hornbuckle (22-3) went 3-1 in 2010, with his only loss coming by unanimous decision to Ben Askren, in the finals of Bellator FC’s welterweight tournament. The Sengoku vet scored victories over Tyler Stinson, Steve Carl and most recently Brad Blackburn over the last twelve months. (Pictured: Hornbuckle (left) hitting Blackburn)

Chonan (18-11) is coming off a TKO stoppage of Jun Hee Moon in October, while fighting under the Deep promotion’s banner. Prior to that, the Pride veteran was KO’d by Jung Hwan Chan, at the Astral “Yoshida’s Farewell” event in April.

Fujii (22-1) will be looking to bounce back from her first professional loss, as the highly regarded fighter lost by split decision to Zoila Frausto in October, while competing in the finals of Bellator’s women’s 115lb. tourney.

Fujino (9-4) last competed in November, when she submitted Anna Saito with a first round, rear-naked-choke at GMC Valkyrie 8. The win ended Fujino’s four fight losing streak.

Some of the other bouts scheduled for “Soul of Fight” include a featherweight title fight between champion Marlon Sandro and challenger Hatsu Hioki, Kazuo Misaki vs. Mike Seal, Masanori Kanehara vs. Yoshiro Maeda, and Mamed Khalidov vs. Yuki Sasaki.

READ MORE - Chonan vs. Hornbuckle, Fujii vs. Fujino Confirmed for “Soul of Fight”

Judo Olympian Ferguson to Face Prospect Cherdivara

By FCF Staff

Strikeforce has announced that four time national judo champion and former Olympian Rhadi Ferguson, will fight undefeated light-heavyweight Ion Cherdivara, at the promotion’s upcoming January 7th, Challengers card in Nashville, Tennessee.

According to a news release sent out today, Ferguson has gone 2-0 since transitioning into MMA with stoppage wins. The 35 year-old fighter has competed in BJJ World Championships, the Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championships and the aforementioned Olympics.

"I don't think MMA is ever a natural transition," said Ferguson, who is a member and trainer with American Top Team.  "I did Judo, I did BJJ, I'm a strength and conditioning coach and a judo coach for some top MMA fighters.  After training these guys for a while the sport caught me a little bit. I'm 35, but I feel like I still have some stuff in the tank.”

"I'm satisfied with my athletic career but I wouldn't mind putting the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title belt on my mantel."

Cherdivara formerly competed for the Moldovan national wrestling team and currently trains with Brazilian Top Team Canada.

"I'm only 1-0 because I've had a hard time finding fights in Montreal," said Cherdivara, who is 1-0 with a KO win to date in his MMA career. "No one wants to fight me.  With Strikeforce, I'll finally be able to face some quality opponents who otherwise wouldn't dare fight me.  I'm looking to face the best light heavyweights Strikeforce has to offer."

Some of the other bouts that are scheduled for the January 7th card include Daniel Cormier (6-0) vs. Devin Cole (18-8-1), Ovince Saint Preux (9-4) vs. "Abongo'' Humphrey (7-2) and Julia "The Jewel'' Budd (1-0) vs. Amanda "Lioness Of The Ring'' Nunes (5-1).

The event will be broadcast live on Showtime.

READ MORE - Judo Olympian Ferguson to Face Prospect Cherdivara