Dan Henderson Comments on Strikeforce Sale via Twitter

Saturday, March 12, 2011

By FCF Staff

The revelation this morning that Zuffa, LLC, has purchased Strikeforce will likely produce varying opinions from each fighter currently contracted to the promotion. Of course, one of the more notable competitors who may have an interest in the UFC parent company's latest acquisition is current Strikeforce Light-Heavyweight Champion and former Octagon competitor Dan Henderson. After a protracted, and at times very public, period of contract negotiations with the UFC in 2009, Henderson made MMA headlines by opting to sign with Strikeforce.

In a post on Henderson’s official Twitter account today, the newly minted Strikeforce champ stated:

What do I think of @ufc buying @Strikeforce & reuniting w/ @danawhite? Duh. Winning! #winning

And while responding to a comment that Henderson “just can't get away from those Zuffa guys,” the former Pride champ joked,

I guess dana actually is my stalker. Lol

Since Henderson failed to take Jake Shield’s middleweight title, at the accomplished wrestler’s Strikeforce debut last April, the 40 year-old-veteran has gone on to stop light-heavyweights Renato Sobral and just last weekend, Rafael Cavalcante. The Ohio State Athletic Commission reported Henderson was paid $250,000 for the March 5th, championship win. 
READ MORE - Dan Henderson Comments on Strikeforce Sale via Twitter

Dana White Announces Zuffa Purchase of Strikeforce

By FCF Staff

News that the mixed-martial-arts world has incurred a significant and likely historic change has come down today, as UFC President Dana White has announced that the promotion’s parent company Zuffa, LLC, has purchased its competitor Strikeforce. White announced the deal in an interview with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani.

While White would not comment on any specific financial terms regarding the deal, he stated repeatedly throughout the interview that it would be “business as usual” for Strikeforce, its broadcasting partner Showtime, and all fighters currently under contract. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker will reportedly continue to oversee and manage the promotion.

According to White, the Strikeforce purchase will not lead to cross promotional cards or “super fights” with the UFC; however, he did acknowledge that some Strikeforce competitors could end up fighting in the Octagon after their current contracts are up.

When asked why Zuffa had acquired Strikeforce, White cited the need of Zuffa to promote more fights  and noted that acquiring the San Jose based promotion’s assets would help the company expand globally. Despite his often harsh criticisms of Strikeforce in recent years, White conceded in the interview that the promotion was growing in popularity, before crediting Coker for his abilities and experience.

Strikeforce has not made any announcement regarding the reported purchase.

READ MORE - Dana White Announces Zuffa Purchase of Strikeforce

UFC 128: Miller to Replace Akiyama vs. Marquardt

By FCF Staff

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that has hit Japan, the UFC has announced that the nation’s middleweight veteran Yoshihiro Akiyama, will not fight Nate Marquardt at UFC 128 as scheduled. Dan Miller (pictured), who was previously set to take on Nick Catone at the March 19th event, will take his place.

UFC President Dana White was quoted saying in the official announcement:

“Yoshihiro Akiyama will not be able to participate at UFC 128 due to the tragedy in Japan.”

"New Jersey native Dan Miller proves once again that he will fight anyone, anywhere, any time by agreeing to step up from the prelims to face Nate Marquardt," added White. "Marquardt has long been a top ten ranked middleweight and Miller jumped at the opportunity to face him.”

No news as to whether or not Catone will remain on the card was included.

Miller (13-4) heads into the bout having won back-to-back fights over Joe Doerksen and John Salter, after losing three in a row to Chael Sonnen, Demian Maia and Michael Bisping.

Marquardt (30-10-2) will be looking to recover from a unanimous decision loss to Yushin Okami in November, after stopping Rousimar Palhares at UFC Fight Night 22 two months earlier.

UFC 128 will be headlined by a light-heavyweight title fight between champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and challenger Jon “Bones” Jones. The event will be hosted by the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

READ MORE - UFC 128: Miller to Replace Akiyama vs. Marquardt

Bibiano Fernandes Waiting on Possible Summer Fight

Friday, March 11, 2011

By Kelsey Mowatt

While more-and-more fighters previously contracted to Japanese promotions continue to head to North America, Dream’s former featherweight champion Bibiano Fernandes, is still hopeful his next bout will take place on the island nation. Although speculation remains rampant as to what the future holds for reportedly, financially strapped promotions like Dream, Fernandes informed FCF that officials tied to the organization have approached him about possibly fighting this summer.

“I’m still waiting for Dream,” Fernandes said while discussing when he may fight next. “I don’t know what’s going on with that, but I still have two fights on my contract with them. I still fight for Dream; I’m going to wait and see what happens...my manager says that Dream is probably going to keep going but the name might change. So maybe a new company will buy Dream and I’ll go fight in June.”

FCF contacted Fernandes’ manager Bill Mahood, who reported that while nothing is confirmed, they’re hopeful a fight will materialize for the renowned BJJ practitioner in Japan later this year.

“In Japan you’re always working through intermediaries,” said Mahood, who also relayed that Fernandes was paid for his New Year’s Eve bout with Hiroyuki Takaya. “So our intermediary has been talking and such, and there has been some talk of this summer. The nice thing about Dream is that they do work with organizations like Strikeforce and Bellator, so that if, and this isn’t something we’ve talked about yet, but if Dream isn’t promoting and a guy needs a fight, at least there’s that opportunity. It’s a good option.”

Despite the fact that half of 2011 could unfold before Fernandes fights again, the featherweight doesn’t appear to be overly concerned about the potential layoff.

“Maybe I’ll go fight in June, maybe, I’ll just wait,” said the 30 year-old-fighter, who continues to reside in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland region. “It’s okay, I’m training, taking care of my baby, my son, training with Black Mamba (Kultar Gill) a little bit, I went and trained with Matt Hume a little bit, that’s it.”

“I’m very easy going,” Fernandes added. “MMA for me is fun, but I don’t go crazy because jiu-jitsu is fun for me too. Something happens I’ll go teach jiu-jitsu; I have other options, I’m not going to get stressed out. If something happens maybe I’ll go fight for another organization you know what I mean?”

There is little question that despite the fact Fernandes is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Takaya, the former Dream champion would likely have little trouble finding work with a new promotion, if indeed his tenure fighting in Japan comes to an end. The New Year’s Eve defeat marked the first time Fernandes had lost since 2007, ending a seven fight winning streak that include wins over notable names like Masakazu Imanari, Joe Warren, Joachim Hansen and the aforementioned Takaya.

“If people call me and want to do a deal for me to come fight for Strikeforce, and it’s a good deal, for sure,” Fernandes noted. “If Dream does close for sure I’d go there, but we’ll have to see what happens.”

Recently there have been reports stating that Takaya may also be headed to compete in North America, to fight under the Strikeforce banner like fellow countrymen Shinya Aoki and Tatsuya Kawajiri. While right now talk of a third bout between Fernandes and Takaya seems to be just that, the Brazilian fighter concedes he would be interested in facing the Dream champ in a rubber match.

“Oh for sure,” said Fernandes, who was very complimentary towards the veteran while discussing a possible third bout. “I’ll fight anybody; if he wants to come fight again for sure, but I’m not going to run around saying ‘please, I want to fight, I want to fight one more,’ you know what I mean? But if he comes, let’s do it. I watched the last fight and he did very well, it was a close fight, but he didn’t beat me, I beat myself.”

“One day you win, one day you lose,” Fernandes added, “but the most important thing in life is to be happy.”
READ MORE - Bibiano Fernandes Waiting on Possible Summer Fight

Lightweights Ready to Begin Bellator Tourney

By FCF Staff

Bellator’s Fourth Season continues to unfold this Saturday, as the promotion will head to Shreveport, Louisiana, to host the opening round of its lightweight tournament. The March 12th action will see Patricky Freire vs. Rob McCullough, Ferrid Kheder vs. Toby Imada, Lloyd Woodard vs. Vanier, and Marcin Held vs. Michael Chandler. (Pictured: McCullough) 

The card will be hosted by The Shreveport Municipal Auditorium and will be available for viewing on MTV 2.

Just one day removed from the lightweight tourney’s opening round, Bellator has released the following comments from each competitor.

"Razor" Rob McCullough

I think everyone says they're going to stand and strike with me, but then when it comes down to it, they're going to try to take me down. I don't expect Patricky [Freire] to be any different, so it's all good. I hope he tries to stand with me. That would be awesome, but it doesn't matter to me. Anywhere this fight goes, I plan on finishing it.

I plan on getting in that cage and leaving my mark. This is a tournament fight, and I'm not planning on it going three rounds. I plan on putting a stamp on this puppy. I'm pacing back and forth just thinking about it. I'm ready to get to work.

Patricky Freire

The chance to face a former world champion in my first fight in the United States is an excellent opportunity for me. I'm ready to make the most of it.

I'm coming into this fight knowing that the odds are on his side. He is favored, and I am the underdog. Rob is strong and a great striker, but I think fans are going to be in for quite a surprise.

I know “Razor” Rob is a former Muay Thai Champion, and I'm prepared to stand and trade strikes with him. I’m prepared for any situation.

Michael Chandler

If I decide to take the fight to the ground, that's where I'm going to take it. But at the same time, I will have the option to keep the fight standing, because I truly feel like I'm better than Marcin [Held] in all aspects of the sport.

I'm coming out in this fight with [Marcin] Held to send a direct message to anyone else I might be fighting in the future. I'm planning on going out there and putting on a completely dominant performance in front of hundreds of thousands of fans on MTV2. People are going to know that I'm the real deal.

Marcin Held

I know that Michael Chandler is very good fighter, but in this tournament there are no weak fighters. I am happy that I have the opportunity to fight against a fighter like Chandler.

I think that I am completely prepared for Michael Chandler. Wrestling is his strongest skill. I know this and respect this, but I am not worried.

Carey Vanier

I 'm definitely confident that I have what it takes to send Lloyd [Woodard] home with his first defeat. I'm always confident. It doesn't matter if my opponent is undefeated or not, I always feel like I have what it takes to put whoever is standing in front of me away.

I can honestly say that Lloyd [Woodard] isn't going to be able to show me anything that I haven't seen before. Training down at Greg Jackson's, I've been blessed to be able to see it all. From Jon Jones to Donald Cerrone, it still amazes me that I get to spar with some of these guys and see all of these different things.

Lloyd Woodard

I know Carey Vanier is a talented fighter with strong wrestling and really good takedowns. I'm training to fight the best Carey Vanier ever right now. I know he's been training down at Greg Jackson's, so I'm sure he's been working on the mistakes I've noticed from his last couple fights. I'm also pretty confident that he's going to be showing up in shape, so I'm ready for the best he has to offer. I really want this fight to be a battle.

I just like being in really exciting fights. I honestly wouldn't mind if this fight with Carey [Vanier] turned into a war. I'm actually hoping that it does. My coach hates it. I go in there wanting to be really technical, but once that adrenaline starts going I just can't help myself. I fight better when I get rocked. It makes me step my game up that much more. 

Toby Imada

I think judo could possibly end up playing a role in this fight with Ferrid [Kheder], but I can't go in there thinking it's a judo match, because it's not. I think that the second I go in there trying to play judo with him could be where I mess up, so I'm just going to go into the cage looking at it like it is—a fight.

I don't see this fight with Ferrid [Kheder] going the distance. I'm definitely hoping that it doesn't go the distance. My goal is to make sure that it doesn't especially after the way the decision went in my fight with Pat Curran. I never want to leave my fate in the judge's hands again.

Ferrid Kheder

Toby [Imada] is a great fighter. He's always in there looking to put on a show. He fights like I fight, always looking to finish. I think that's going to lead to us being the best fight of the night.

Toby [Imada] has a judo background like me, and I know he has good submissions. Besides that, his recent performance at the S-Cup showed me that he's a good striker as well. With that being said, I think I'm better than him everywhere, and now it's up to me to show the world that what I'm saying is the truth.
READ MORE - Lightweights Ready to Begin Bellator Tourney

Video: M-1 Global HW Title Fight Guram vs. Grishin

Thursday, March 10, 2011

By FCF Staff, photo courtesy M-1 Global

M-1 Global has released the video footage of the promotion’s heavyweight title fight between champion Guram Gugenishvili (pictured) and challenger Maxim Grishin, which took place this past weekend in Moscow, Russia. The bout headlined M-1 Challenge XXIII.

READ MORE - Video: M-1 Global HW Title Fight Guram vs. Grishin

Video: Latest Wanderlei Silva Miniseries Episode "Wand is Back"

The latest episode in the ongoing web, miniseries about Wanderlei Silva and his Vegas fight team has been released by Dogged TV.

READ MORE - Video: Latest Wanderlei Silva Miniseries Episode "Wand is Back"

M-1 Challenge: Sultanakhmedov to Face Jeffries for MW Belt March 25th

By FCF Staff

M-1 Global continues to confirm bouts for the promotion’s upcoming, March 25th debut on Showtime, which will be hosted by Norfolk, Virginia’s Constant Center. The M-1 Challenge “Damkovsky vs. Figueroa” card will be headlined by a lightweight title fight between champion Artiom Damkovsky and challenger Jesse Figueroa.

Fresh off a TKO stoppage over Plinio Cruz on March 5th, Magomed ‘The White Wolf’ Sultanakhmedov (pictured) will jump right back into action to take on Tyson “The Anti-Hero” Jeffries for the promotion’s vacant middleweight championship.

Sultanakhmedov’s (15-5) recent victory returned the 26 year-old-fighter to the winner’s column, after he was quickly submitted by Rafael Moks, in their championship bout this past December. Moks relinquished the title to drop down to welterweight. The defeated was Sultanakhmedov’s first since 2009 and ended the Russian fighter’s seven fight win streak.

Jeffries (7-4) is coming off a successful 2010 campaign, which saw the American score wins over Mike Johnson, the aforementioned Cruz and most recently Mike Guerin, to become M-1 Global’s Americas middleweight champ.

Other bouts scheduled for the March 25th car include Alexander Sarnavskiy vs. lightweight Josh Bacallao, renowned BJJ practitioner Vinny Magalhaes vs. undefeated light-heavyweight Jake Doerr , and middleweight Arthur Guseinov vs. Mark Palbykin.

READ MORE - M-1 Challenge: Sultanakhmedov to Face Jeffries for MW Belt March 25th

Shinya Aoki vs. Lyle Beerbohm Confirmed for April 9th

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

By FCF Staff

After days of speculation and various reports surfacing, Strikeforce has officially confirmed that Dream lightweight champ Shinya Aoki will take on noted vet Lyle Beerbohm (pictured), at the promotion’s upcoming April 9th card in San Diego.

Aoki (26-5) will be returning to the Strikeforce cage for the first time since last April, when he dropped a unanimous decision loss to champion Gilbert Melendez while making his promotional debut. Since the defeat Aoki has won three straight official MMA bouts; however, the renowned submission artist was KO’d by Yuichiro Nagashima on New Year’s Eve in a MMA / K-1 rules hybrid bout.

Beerbohm (15-1) will return to action after being defeated for the first time in his career on February 18th, when Pat Healy was awarded the unanimous decision in their memorable, Challengers contest. Beerbohm has scored victories over Duane Ludwig and Vitor Ribeiro while competing under the Strikeforce banner.

Strikeforce’s April 9th event will be headlined by a welterweight title fight between champion Nick Diaz and challenger Paul Daley. The card will also feature the aforementioned lightweight champ Melendez, taking on Dream vet, Tatsuya Kawajiri.

The event will be broadcast on Showtime.

READ MORE - Shinya Aoki vs. Lyle Beerbohm Confirmed for April 9th

Brandon Thatch vs. Chris Holland Headlines ROF 40

By FCF Staff, photo courtesy Ring of Fire

Ring of Fire has begun confirming the line-up for the promotion’s upcoming 40th event, which will take place April 16th at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado. Headlining the card will be a bout between Welterweight Young Guns Champion Brandon Thatch (pictured) and challenger Chris Holland.

Thatch (3-1) will head into the bout having not competed since last August, when he submitted Danny Davis Jr. in the first round at Ring of Fire 39. The former kickboxer’s only professional loss came at Strikeforce’s second Playboy Mansion card in 2008, when he lost by split decision to Brandon Magana.

Holland is listed in the ROF press release as 7-4; the welterweight last competed for ROF at the promotion’s 38th event in June, and knocked out Vinny Lopez in the first round. Holland has scored two wins over training partners of Thatch, prompting the Young Guns champ to say in the official announcement:

"I am looking for a little payback for sure, but also to keep my belt. It comes down to who wants it more, me or him. This is my house, and these are my fans. I won't disappoint them. I'll be ready." said Thatch.

Other bouts that have been confirmed for the April 16th event include BJJ black belt Chaun Sims vs. Vitor Belfort protégé Cesar Ferreira and Jason Lee vs. Christopher Clark.

More bouts for ROF 40 will be announced soon.

READ MORE - Brandon Thatch vs. Chris Holland Headlines ROF 40

Video: Unaired Strikeforce Prelim: Bowling vs. Thornburg

Here is video footage of the second, unaired prelim that Strikeforce has released following it's latest event in Columbus this past weekend. The bout between Roger Bowling and Josh Thornburg will be available for viewing until March 15th.

READ MORE - Video: Unaired Strikeforce Prelim: Bowling vs. Thornburg

Video: Unaired Strikeforce Prelim: Gurgel vs. Vaughan

Following its "Feijao vs. Henderson" event in Columbus, Ohio this weekend, Strikeforce has released video footage of the unaired, preliminary bout between Jorge Gurgel and Billy Vaughan. The bout will be available for viewing until March 15th.

READ MORE - Video: Unaired Strikeforce Prelim: Gurgel vs. Vaughan