Tom Watson KO’s Murilo Rua; Frank Trigg Dominates John Phillips

Saturday, May 21, 2011

By FCF Staff

Tom “Kong” Watson added another impressive win to his growing resume today in London, England, as the BAMMA middleweight champ dismantled veteran Murilo “Ninja” Rua with strikes en route to a second round knock-out win.

Both men came out firing and exchanged numerous leg kicks and punches to begin the five round championship fight, but Watson was able to find the mark more often, and appeared to stun Rua on a couple of occasions with crisp punches. Although Rua kept calling Watson on and remained defiant, as the bout continued Watson also brutalized the Pride veteran’s left knee with kicks.

As round three began Rua’s knee was heavily bruised and swollen, and the Brazilian’s mobility was severely reduced as a result. In a desperate effort to get the fight to the mat, the extremely game Rua bull rushed Watson to the cage fence, but the British fighter was able to negate his opponent’s takedown attempts.

Shortly after, Watson blasted Rua with a head kick that appeared to put the renowned fighter out on his feet, before several more punches from the champion brought about the referee’s intervention.

In another featured middleweight attraction, UFC vet Frank Trigg had very few difficulties in disposing of noted striker John Phillips. As many expected, Trigg immediately looked to take Phillips to the mat, and was able to do so just moments into the bout.

Working from the top position, Trigg blasted Phillips with several piercing elbows that cut the Welsh fighter badly, and the referee halted the action soon after to have the ringside physician examine the cuts. Despite Phillip’s objections, the bout was called to an end, likely setting up a future bout between Trigg and the BAMMA champ Watson.

Veteran Ivan Salaverry’s return from retirement didn’t go quite as planned, as the UFC vet dropped a unanimous decision loss to Britain’s Matt Ewin. Although Salaverry faired alright with Ewin in a fight that was predominately spent on its feet, the 40 year-old-fighter didn’t do enough to earn the judge’s nod in what was a rather conservative affair.

Here are the results from the BAMMA 6 broadcast:

Tom Watson def. Murlio Rua by KO (strikes) R3 2:06
Frank Trigg def. John Phillips by TKO (doctor stoppage due to cuts) R1 2:41
Matt Ewin def. Ivan Salaverry by Unanimous Decision
Che Mills def. Marcio Cesar by TKO (strikes) R1
READ MORE - Tom Watson KO’s Murilo Rua; Frank Trigg Dominates John Phillips

Thierry Rameau Sokoudjou vs. Martin Desilets Added to June 10th SFS

Friday, May 20, 2011

By FCF Staff

Score Media has finally confirmed who Thierry Rameau Sokoudjou will face at its upcoming June 10th event in Mississauga, Ontario, and it’s former Fight Club Light-Heavyweight champ Martin “Stress” Desilets.

Sokoudjou (11-8) is coming off back-to-back wins over Valdas Pocevicius and most recently Jan Blachowicz, after dropping two in a row to Houston Alexander and Shamil Abdurahimov. The UFC and Pride vet is 3-2 in his last five fights.

Desilets (11-3) recently was stopped by Roger Hollett at Ringside MMA 10 in April. The loss ended the Quebec fighter’s four fight winning streak which included two stoppage wins over UFC vet Victor Valimaki.

The June 10th Score Fighting Series will be hosted by Mississauga’s Hershey Centre and will also feature a welterweight bout between Canadian prospect Jordan Mein and Dream champion Marius Zaromskis.

Middleweight veterans and former Octagon competitors Joe Doerksen and Luigi Fioravanti are also scheduled to fight.

The event will be recorded and broadcast over the coming weeks on The Score sports network.

READ MORE - Thierry Rameau Sokoudjou vs. Martin Desilets Added to June 10th SFS

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson Explains Mindset for Matt Hamill, Retiring at 35

By Kelsey Mowatt

Questions regarding how long Quinton “Rampage” Jackson plans to keep on fighting have been the norm since the fighter temporarily walked away from the UFC in 2009 to play a role in “The A-Team”, which led to a rather public rift with the promotion’s president Dana White. Of course, Jackson eventually made his way back to the UFC, and having earned a split decision win over fellow former champion Lyoto Machida last time out, has the debate finally ended as to whether Jackson remains committed to MMA long term? The answer is apparently no.

Heading into Jackson’s bout next Saturday with renowned wrestler Matt Hamill, the 33 year-old veteran has made comments seemingly indicating that acting, and not fighting, is his primary goal. Furthering speculation as to whether Jackson remains as passionate about his pugilistic endeavours as he was in previous years, has been the perception that the accomplished fighter isn’t terribly excited about facing Hamill at UFC 130.

Well, in a UFC media teleconference held yesterday, Jackson once again fielded questions regarding his current mindset about fighting, and the veteran was quick to respond to those who have questioned his motivation.

“I think there’s a big misperception,” said Jackson, while discussing the belief he isn’t overly excited about his upcoming May 28th bout. “Some MMA fans they don’t understand, they don’t hear something they want to hear so they jump all over you. If you really get to know me I’m not really excited about anybody I fight. It’s my job to me; it’s my career. You know what I’m saying. I don’t get excited about anyone I fight; I have almost 40 fights. I don’t get excited about anyone I fight; I just go out there and do it.”

“Yes I want to do movies as I get done fighting because you can’t fight until your 60,” Jackson added. “If anybody’s smart they want to have an exit plan for MMA or any full contact sport. You can tell the fans that are smart and which fans are kind of ignorant; they think that you fight and then just be done. What happens after you’re done fighting? What are you going to do then? You just rot away? I don’t understand what they think?”

While Jackson explained the rationale behind why he continues to explore acting, and also revealed that he has been approached to do more films, the 31-8 fighter also reaffirmed his plans to hang up the gloves in two years.

“I felt that way since the day I started fighting. I don’t want to fight past 35,” Jackson said. “I said it years ago; I don’t know why people are just starting to catch on to it now; I said it years ago as well.”

Clearly, unless something dramatically changes, Jackson’s fighting career is entering into its final stages, and his recent comments may or may not alter the perception of some that the light-heavyweight's passion for combat has diminished. That said, Jackson apparently did not care for some of the statements Hamill reportedly made recently, regarding what he intends to do on May 28th.

“I think Matt made a mistake when he actually said he was going to break my will,” Jackson noted. “That I’m going to overlook him. That actually lit a fire up under my ass and made me train a little bit harder so that I can break his will. So I can make sure that I outclass him. That’s why I worked a lot on my wrestling, a lot on my cardio, and so that I can get up off my back in case he does take me down...when he said that it motivated me just as much as I have been in other fights.”

UFC 130 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

READ MORE - Quinton “Rampage” Jackson Explains Mindset for Matt Hamill, Retiring at 35

Report: Ricco Rodriguez Arrested in Arizona

Thursday, May 19, 2011

By FCF Staff

MMA veteran and former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez was arrested in Ahwatuke, Arizona, this weekend according to a report from My Fox Phoenix, an affiliate of Fox News. The 33 year-old-fighter was reportedly arrested for allegedly assaulting a cab driver and then resisting arrest. Ahwatuke is located south of Phoenix.

According to the My Fox Phoenix report, the alleged incident began when Rodriguez refused to pay the $70 cab fare that was charged and instead offered to pay no more than $20. Police claim that Rodriguez subsequently threw the cab driver to the ground, and then resisted arrest when officers arrived on the scene, which included allegedly pushing a police officer against a wall.

Rodriguez is facing charges of assault and resisting arrest.

The reported incident comes in the midst of a 11 fight winning streak for Rodriguez, who most recently on February 26th, defeated fellow UFC vet James McSweeney at a British Association of Mixed Martial Arts event. The veteran’s MMA record currently stands at 46-11.
READ MORE - Report: Ricco Rodriguez Arrested in Arizona

M-1 Global Champ Jose Figueroa “Ready to be in the Spotlight”

By Kelsey Mowatt

As M-1 Global makes inroads in North America, thanks in part to its broadcasting deal with Showtime, the promotion continues to turn to rising fighters like Vinny Magalhaes, Guram Gugenishvili and newly minted lightweight champion Jose Figueroa to drive up interest. After Figueroa impressed on national television on March 25th, by dominating former champ Artiom Damkovsky for the second round stoppage win, M-1 will turn again to the ATT Orlando fighter for its next Showtime broadcast on July 8th. (Pictured: Figueroa hitting Damkovsky)

“I’ve seen him a little bit,” said Figueroa about his next opponent, German veteran Daniel Weichel. “I know he has fought a lot of good veterans and that he probably has more fights than a lot of guys with M-1, so I’m really excited about it.”

In fact, Weichel (26-7) has fought over twice as many times as Figueroa (10-4), as the 26 year-old is just one year away from having competed professionally for a decade. More recently Weichel has won three straight and is 8-2 in his last ten fights.

“I think he’s a good wrestler, a really good submission artist, and has pretty good ground-and-pound,” said Figueroa. “Seems like he’s a finisher and has a good amount of submissions he can turn to. I think he’s pretty good on his feet but I don’t think that’s his most comfortable position. I just think he’s stronger with the wrestling and jiu-jitsu.”

At 6’3, Figueroa will likely have the range and reach on the shorter, 5’10 Weichel, but according to the lightweight champ, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll look to keep the fight standing.

“I could end up looking for that,” Figueroa said. “I’m always looking to stand-up if I don’t feel like it’s going my way with takedowns or what not. I’m always looking for that even if I am also looking for the takedowns, which I think you saw in my last fight. Maybe I’ll do that in this fight too, or maybe I’ll just look to keep this fight standing.”

Indeed, it was through Figueroa’s takedowns and subsequent top game that the 26 year-old fighter punished Damkovsky, en route to what was unquestionably his biggest win to date.

“Oh man, it was a great opportunity,” said Figueroa about the win, which may have marked the first time many fans had seen him perform. “It was an honor to fight for Showtime, in the main event for M-1. I was just glad that all the hard training, all the time I put in came through at that point. I know I’m ready for this stage of my career; I’m ready to be in the spotlight.”

After dropping three fights in a row, which included losses to current UFC competitor Edson Mendes Barboza Jr. and Bellator vet Luis Palomino, Figueroa’s career has undergone a sharp turnaround over the last year. In addition to his recent win over Damkovsky, Figueroa scored victories over Joshua Thorpe and George Sheppard last Fall, to win M-1 Global’s Americas Selection tourney.

“Just not taking big fights with a lot of rust has helped,” since Figueroa, who also credited training with Muay Thai instructor Bobby Robare once again for his recent success. “I lost two of them after having a year off being injured and having a hard time finding a couple of fights. Between that and injuries I had a lot of time off. Now that I’ve gotten rid of the rust I’m ready to go.”

“I would like to fight and defend my title as many times as possible before the year is up,” Figueroa added while discussing his future. “I’m not trying to sit around and not defend it. I want to defend my belt as much as possible and gain as much experience as I can.”

READ MORE - M-1 Global Champ Jose Figueroa “Ready to be in the Spotlight”

Video: “Guram is Coming” Trailer

By FCF Staff

M-1 Global and Showtime have released a video trailer promoting the upcoming North American debut of heavyweight champion Guram Gugenishvili, who will take on Pat Bennett, July 8th. The 24 year-old-Ukrainian has gone 11-0 since he began fighting professionally in 2009.

READ MORE - Video: “Guram is Coming” Trailer

Strikeforce Confirms KJ Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal for June 18th

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

By FCF Staff

With several notable heavyweight bouts scheduled for Strikeforce’s upcoming June 18th event in Dallas, Texas,  the promotion has confirmed today that veteran lightweight Jorge Masvidal wil face former Elite XC champion KJ Noons on the card. (Noons kicking Nick Diaz)

Noons (10-3) hasn’t competed since October when he lost by unanimous decision to current welterweight champion Nick Diaz. The loss was Noons’ first since 2007, a streak which included wins over Andrea Amado, Jorge Gurgel, Yves Edwards and the aforementioned Diaz.

Masvidal (21-6) has gone 3-2 in his last five bouts heading into the June 18th card. Most recently the American Top Team fighter scored a UD win over Billy Evangelista in March, after losing by decision to Paul Daley last September.

The upcoming Strikeforce event will feature the second leg of the promotion’s ongoing heavyweight grand-prix, as heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem will take on Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett will face Brett Rogers.

Two other heavyweight bouts have been confirmed for the card, as Chad Griggs will meet Valentijn Overeem and Daniel Cormier will fight Jeff Monson.

Gina Carano is also scheduled to face Sarah D’Alelio in a women’s 145lb. bout.
READ MORE - Strikeforce Confirms KJ Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal for June 18th

Jordan Mein vs. Marius Zaromskis Confirmed for June 10th SFS

By FCF Staff

As expected, top Canadian prospect Jordan Mein will face Dream welterweight champ Marius Zaromskis at the upcoming, June 10th, Score Fighting Series event in Mississauga, Ontario. Score Media Inc, the parent company of the promotion, confirmed the main event tilt today.

Mein (21-7) has positioned himself as one of the welterweight division’s rising prospects this year by stopping veteran Joe Riggs in January, and then more recently in April, by scoring a unanimous decision win over former UFC competitor Josh Burkman. Mein informed FCF last month of the likelihood that he would face Zaromskis next, and had this to say about the noted striker.

“My Dad told me he heard Marius has been training at AKA working on his wrestling,” Mein noted. “He’s going to be dangerous everywhere. He’s a really dangerous athlete and has really good striking, so it’s going to be a war like usual.”

Zaromskis (14-5) has competed since December when he was awarded the TKO win over Kazushi Sakuraba via doctor stoppage. The Lithuanian fighter has gone 2-2 with 1 No Contest since he blasted his way to the Dream title in 2009.

Score Media has also confirmed a lightweight bout between Jorge Britto (12-7-1) and Kurt Southern (8-3) for the June 10th undercard.

The upcoming event will be recorded and broadcast on The Score television network over the coming weeks.

READ MORE - Jordan Mein vs. Marius Zaromskis Confirmed for June 10th SFS

Bellator Signs Undefeated Former Olympic Medalist Alexis Vila

By FCF Staff, photo courtesy Bellator FC

Bellator Fighting Championship has added another accomplished wrestler to its roster as it has announced that it has signed 1996, free style wrestling, Olympic bronze medalist Alexis Vila. The 40 year-old-Cuban fighter will compete in the promotion’s upcoming bantamweight tourney, which will get underway in September.

"With fighters like Joe Warren, Eduardo Dantas, Marcos Galvao, Chase Beebe, Luis, Ed and now Alexis, this bantamweight tournament is absolutely loaded next season.” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Vila is a wrestling Olympian that knocks his opponents out, and that makes him huge problem for anyone he fights.”

Since transitioning into MMA in 2007, Vila has gone undefeated through nine professional bouts, competing primarily in the Florida circuit. Most recently the American Top Team fighter stopped Lewis McKenzie in the second round at a Mixed Fighting Alliance event in February.

“I feel like I'm the best bantamweight in the world right now,” said Vila who is also a two time world freestyle wrestling champ. “I have everything. I have all the training and all the tools. People don't even know. Nobody has the stand-up that I have, the wrestling I have, or the strength that I have.”

"I'm here at Bellator to take the belt. I'm not here to play games. I feel like that belt's already mine, now I just have to fight to get it, and I'm not worried about nobody,” Vila added. “I'm here at Bellator to become a World Champion, and to be recognized as the best bantamweight fighter in the world.”

READ MORE - Bellator Signs Undefeated Former Olympic Medalist Alexis Vila

Several Bouts Confirmed for UFC 133

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

By FCF Staff 

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has confirmed several bouts for the promotion’s upcoming August 6th event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including the card’s main event. As expected, a bout between former light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (pictured) and rising contender Phil Davis will headline the UFC 133 card.

Evans (15-1-1) hasn’t fought since May, 2010, when he defeated “Rampage” Jackson by unanimous decision at UFC 114. The veteran had been expected to fight former training partner Jon Jones next, but the current champion was forced to post-pone the bout due to a hand injury.

Davis (9-0) is coming off his most impressive win to date, as the decorated wrestler scored a unanimous decision win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at Fight Night 24 in March, furthering his position as a light-heavyweight contender. Davis has gone 5-0 since he made his UFC debut last year.

Other bouts that have been confirmed for UFC 133 include a middleweight tilt between Jorge Rivera (19-8) and Alessio Sakara (15-8), Dennis Hallman (50-13-2) versus fellow welterweight vet Brian Ebersole (47-14-1) and middleweight Riki Fukuda (17-5) versus Rafael Natal (11-3-1).

READ MORE - Several Bouts Confirmed for UFC 133

Dan Lauzon to Face Noah Weisman for WFC LW Belt June 18th

By FCF Staff; photo courtesy Zack Lynch / MMA Photography

After being cut from the UFC last year, Dan Lauzon will look for his third consecutive win on June 18th, as World Championship Fighting has announced that the Octagon vet will face Noah Weisman for the promotion’s lightweight title.

Lauzon (14-4) (pictured) has won back-to-back bouts over John Ortolani and most recently Damien Trites in December, after losing by unanimous decision to Efrain Escudero at UFC 114 last May, which prompted his exit from the promotion. Lauzon, who is the younger brother of current UFC competitor Joe, has gone 4-0 to date with the WCF.

Weisman (5-1) has won three consecutive fights since he lost by UD to John Benoit at WFC 9 in February, 2010. Since then the lightweight has defeated Luis Felix, Sean Wilmot and Joel Ly.

WCF has also confirmed the co-main-event for the upcoming June 18th card, as recent TUF competitor Greg Rebello (12-3) will take on former training partner Scott Rehm (5-4).

WCF 11 will be hosted by Wilmington, Massachusetts’s Aleppo Shriners Auditorium.
READ MORE - Dan Lauzon to Face Noah Weisman for WFC LW Belt June 18th

Brendan Schaub vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Confirmed for UFC 134

By FCF Staff

Another of Brazil’s top MMA stars has been confirmed for the upcoming August 27th, UFC 134 card in Rio de Janeiro, as the promotion has announced that legendary heavyweight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (pictured) and former TUF competitor Brendan Schaub have verbally agreed to fight at the event.

Schaub (8-1) will head into the bout having won four straight since he was knocked out by Roy Nelson at the TUF 10 Finale in December, 2009. Since then the 28 year-old-heavyweight has scored wins over Chase Gormley, Chris Tuchscherer, Gabriel Gonzaga, and most recently Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, who Schaub knocked out in March.

Nogueira (32-6-1) hasn’t competed since February, 2010, when he was knocked out by current heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez. The 34 year-old had been scheduled to rematch Frank Mir last September but was forced to withdraw due to injury. Prior to his KO loss at the hands of Velasquez, Nogueira earned a unanimous decision win over Randy Couture at UFC 102 in August, 2009.

UFC 134, which will be hosted by Rio de Janeior’s HSBC Arena, will feature a middleweight bout between champion Anderson Silva and Yushin Okami in the main event.

READ MORE - Brendan Schaub vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Confirmed for UFC 134