Post subject: UFC Fighter Nick Denis Retires From MMA
Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:14 pm
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:46 am Posts: 8272
With 14 fights to his credit including two in the UFC, Canadian Nick Denis has decided to retire from the sport of mixed martial arts.
At only 29-years of age, some might wonder why Denis is walking away so young , with fights still remaining on his UFC contract.
Well as the former biochemistry major explains it, after doing a lot of research into brain injuries and concussions, Denis decided to stop risking his own health in training and fights and walk away while he still could.
“After my first loss, a devastating knockout where Marlon Sandro dribbled my head on the canvas like a basketball, I did lots of research on concussions. As a graduate student at the university of Ottawa, I had access to all peer reviewed scientific journals. No surprise to find that concussions = bad. However, I found something that had never occurred to me. Sub-concussive trauma. Basically, a blow to the head that doesn’t lead to a concussion. When it happens, you feel fine, and continue on. Maybe you feel like you just had a little brain scramble, nothing big,” Denis described in his blog.
“Those who spar, know what I am talking about. However these add up. They accumulate, from training session to training session, year after year. The research papers found that men who never had an actual concussion, rather only sub-concussive trauma, (they used football/hockey players) when brain scans were administered to them (can’t remember if it was MRI or CT), their brain morphology was decayed like that of individuals with later stages of neurodegenerative disorders.”
Denis goes onto say that he promised himself if he experienced one more concussion that he would retire, and as certain damage continued to mount, he couldn’t ignore the warning signs any longer.
“In the last couple years, and especially in the last few months leading up to my May 5th fight, while sparring I would notice that when I got hit, it would affect me more and more. When I first started sparring I would run through punches unaffected. Not only that, but now training at Tristar, I am literally training with the worlds best. We are all training at the highest level, all for the same reasons. Could I fight in the UFC, against the best fighters in our solar system, literally trained killers, without sparring in training? Not really, so what was I to do? I have made the decision to retire,” explained Denis.
During his brief UFC career, Denis went 1-1 with a stunning first round knockout in his debut over Joseph Sandoval, and now walks away from the sport to focus on his health and other endeavors.
Former UFC Fighter Dennis Hallman Loses Family Home To Fire On Thanksgiving
Former UFC lightweight and welterweight fighter Dennis Hallman suffered a tragedy on Thanksgiving as his family home in Washington burned down.
According to Hallman via a Facebook post, he says that his family is physically fine, but the fire ravaged the house and all of their personal belongings.
“Sad Thanksgiving for me and my family. My house burned down early this AM,” Hallman wrote. “Thank God no one was hurt and I have that to be thankful for. Something like this makes my recent direction change all the harder…the one person that could make me feel okay about everything is no longer here. When God wants you to have a fresh start sometimes he really wants to make his point clear.”
Hallman’s good friend and training partner Benji Radach also updated about the situation, saying that all of the family’s personal belongings were lost and any help that could be provided would be appreciated.
“My good friend Dennis Hallman and his three boys didn’t have the best Thanksgiving. Their house and all of their clothes and belongings went up in flames last night so they have what’s on their back and that’s it. Keep the family in your prayers,” said Radach.
Hallman has had a very tough personal and professional run over the last several months.
Due to personal issues mounting, Hallman struggled to make weight for his last scheduled fight in the UFC, which was the second time the fighter missed making weight for a bout in the Octagon.
The UFC offered to pay Hallman his fight purse, but released him after the show for the repeated infraction for not making weight.
Post subject: ONE FC Signs Partnership Deal With Glory World
Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:27 am
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:46 am Posts: 8272
ONE FC Signs Partnership Deal With Glory World; Aoki And Fernandes Expected On New Year’s Card
ONE FC has reached an exclusive partnership with Glory Sports International, which will result in a sharing of talent including fighters that could appear on the upcoming Glory/DREAM New Year’s Eve show in Japan.
ONE FC officials confirmed that with the new agreement in place, they will have access to the line-up of fighters under the Glory banner, and Glory will have the same access to fighters under contract to ONE FC.
Over the last several months, ONE FC has signed on partnership deals with numerous promotions in and around Asia, but this latest announcement only strengthens the upcoming Glory/DREAM card landing on New Year’s Eve in Japan.
According to sources, ONE FC lightweight Shinya Aoki will sign on to perform at the upcoming New Year’s Eve show against an as of yet unnamed opponent.
Also, top rated bantamweight Bibiano Fernandes is expected to fight on the New Year’s Eve Glory/DREAM card as well.
ONE FC has yet to announce news on their next card in 2013, but it appears for now they will focus on helping to promote the upcoming Glory/DREAM New Year’s Eve card in Japan.
Jesse Ronson Guns For UFC Contract Following Weekend Win Over Ryan Healy
Sore hands and feet are Jesse Ronson's only career roadblocks at this moment.
Ronson believes a recent victory over fellow lightweight Ryan Healy proves he's capable of joining his well-known teammates in the UFC.
"I would like for this fight to put me on the next level, but we'll see how it goes," he told MMAjunkie.com (http://www.mmajunkie.com).
Ronson (12-2) dominated Healy (23-12) over three rounds to earn a unanimous-decision win at this past Friday's Score Fighting Series 7 event, which took place at Hamilton Place Theatre in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The event's main card, including Ronson's feet, aired on AXS TV.
One judge scored the lopsided fight 30-25 in favor of Ronson, a native of nearby London, Ontario. The crowd, including 75 of his friends and family, chanted "UFC" during the action.
Ronson, though, snickered at the thought of a UFC offer on his desk.
"I didn't know they came that soon," he joked. "Was I supposed to get it on Saturday?"
The 26-year-old has had far more time to win over his training partners at London's Adrenaline Training Center, which Sam Stout, Chris Horodecki and Mark Hominick founded. An endorsement from the Canadian MMA stars won him the representation of agent Rob Roveta.
"They're pulling for me," Ronson said. "We'll see if I get that call."
The resources at Ronson's disposal were considerably smaller in his early career. He trained at a kickboxing academy in London and had few grappling partners.
"I would do jiu-jitsu with the guys that were there," he said, "with guys that didn't know what jiu-jitsu was, and I was fighting MMA."
That changed when Ronson joined Adrenaline in September 2010. Although he went 1-2 in his next three outings, including an eye-opening loss to the well-rounded Mike Ricci of "The Ultimate Fighter 16" fame, he has won his past seven fights.
And Healy, who's brother is current Strikeforce contender Pat Healy, couldn't keep the fight on the mat to ground and pound him.
Although satisfied with his win, Ronson expressed frustration at being unable to finish his opponent, who took no fewer than three head kicks in the waining minute of the third and final round.
"I was just upset because I think I landed six or seven clean ones with my power leg and two or three with my lead leg, and I was like, 'This guy has to go down from one of these,'" Ronson said. "So I threw the one and he wobbled, so I'm like, 'One more and he's going down.' I hit him with the second one, and he didn't go down. The more he didn't go down, the more I wanted to hurt him and try to knock him out."
The knockout didn't come, but Ronson certainly made a statement about his abilities.
If the UFC comes calling, he said he'd like to fight in February. But in reality, any time will do.
"If they call me and say, 'Do you want to fight this guy,' I'm not going to say no," Ronson said.
Post subject: Michael Bisping Calls For UFC Interim Belt
Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:40 am
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:46 am Posts: 8272
Michael Bisping Calls For UFC Interim Belt; Should The UFC Make The Move?
Everything surrounding UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva lately has swirled about anything but defending his 185-pound divisional title, and everything points to the likelihood that he won’t be defending the belt anytime soon.
The last time he did so was earlier this year in July in a rematch against Chael Sonnen. He won the fight then went on to help save UFC 153 from cancellation by fighting Stephan Bonnar in a 205-pound non-title bout.
Silva has since indicated that he’s got several personal projects that he wants to focus on, plus, he has a target on Georges St-Pierre as his next opponent. If he does get the fight with St-Pierre, it would be a superfight, not a title bout.
If he doesn’t intend to defend the belt anytime in the near future – we’re already going on nearly five months without any word of a title defense in view – should an interim UFC middleweight champion be crowned?
Michael Bisping – the UFC’s self-proclaimed No. 1 middleweight contender – believes so. He’s scheduled to fight Vitor Belfort in January at UFC on FX 7 in Brazil, and feels that their fight is worthy of championship status.
“Me vs. Vitor Belfort in Brazil in January should be for the Interim Middleweight Title,” Bisping wrote in a Thanksgiving message to his fans this week. “With (Chris) Weidman out, I think me vs Vitor is a worthy Interim Title fight. Way more worthy than Urijah Favor’s 2354987th title shot and, and I would defend my Interim Title against all-comers and keep the division moving.”
Weidman has been regarded as the top contender to Silva’s title, or at least among the top two alongside Bisping, but he recently ended up on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.
Bisping feels like that leaves he and Belfort as the logical choice for an interim title bout. And he’s probably right… if there is to be one.
But the question begs to be asked: should the UFC institute an interim champion when its current titleholder isn’t injured? He just appears to be focused on things other than defending his championship belt.
It’s definitely a unique situation, but Bisping believes that, with all the momentum the UFC middleweight division has right now, an interim champion who is willing to defend his title would serve to keep the division moving forward.
“I’m at the top of my game, you had Weidman getting some serious momentum, Alan Belcher – when he is healthy – is as good as anyone at 185lbs in spite of that abomination on his arm, Cung Le has just KO’d the former champion Rich Franklin in one round, Tim Boetsch is there, Mark Munoz, Brian Stann, Chris Leben and the poison dwarf (Hector) Lombard are all in the mix and then you’ve got Vitor Belfort who is back at his real weight class after almost snapping Jon Jones’s arm in half on two weeks’ notice,” Bisping remarked.
“On top of that it looks like the Strikeforce guys are coming in shortly, too.
“As it stands, the middleweight division’s champion has no plans whatsoever to defend his belt until at least the end of next summer.”
Is Silva not defending his belt for a year or longer enough reason for an interim title bout?
“According to my boss and their boss – Mr Dana F White – Anderson and GSP will have a super-fight in May and who knows what happens then? Anderson could win and then fight Jon Jones at light heavyweight in September and go the entire year – 18 months and more – since defending the middleweight belt,” Bisping said in explaining his reasoning.
“Or GSP could win or Anderson get hurt… the fight could even be moved to mid-summer for venue reasons… a million things could happen even when we get to May. Meanwhile, the middleweight division is in a complete holding pattern.”
Should the UFC take the unprecedented step of declaring an interim champion when it’s current titleholder isn’t injured or otherwise unable to defend his belt? Do they need to do so in order to keep the division moving forward?
As always, only time will tell how this all plays out, but until it does, we can all weigh in on how the situation develops…
BJ Penn Won’t Question GSP But Everyone Knows What He Would Say If Offered Anderson Silva
Former two-weight class champion B.J. Penn is no stranger to big fights.
The Hawaiian has been in more than his fair share of main events, title fights, and even what could be described as “super fights” when he’s fought well out of his own weight class.
He’s fought at lightweight, welterweight, middleweight and even what was considered “open weight” when he took on former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida back in 2005.
His willingness to always step up and fight the best competition, regardless of weight class, has shown Penn’s fearlessness throughout his career. Of course some would say Penn’s choices could also be described as foolhardy considering his domination of the lightweight division for much of his career, but he is best defined as the fighter who will literally fight anybody.
That mentality is probably a big part of the reason why Penn is such a fan of the “super fight” concept, which pits two fighters against each other from much different weight classes.
“I think super fights are great. I think it causes a lot of hype, and Dana (White) knows that. Look at the name ‘super fight’, it’s awesome, it’s what this sport is about. It’s what this sport was built on. Get the two best fighters in the world and put them in the ring, and I’ve got to give that to Dana White, he does that every time,” Penn said on Tuesday.
“He doesn’t let no (Floyd) Mayweather/ (Manny) Pacquiao situations ever happen, he’s the man.”
The Mayweather/Pacquiao situation is reference to the long standing idea that would pit the two pugilists considered the best pound-for-pound in the sport together in a bout, but because of contractual hold ups, promoter bickering and other issues, it’s never actually happened.
Penn loves that White is willing to put together the biggest fights possible, just like when he jumped up from lightweight to face welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in 2009.
Penn had battled St-Pierre to a split decision in 2006, but after three straight wins at lightweight including capturing the belt, he was offered the chance to go back to welterweight and face the 170lb champion one more time.
The fight ended with St-Pierre the victor once again, but Penn has no regrets about his decision making about taking the “super fight”.
Recently, the super fight on everybody’s minds has been middleweight champion Anderson Silva taking on St-Pierre, for what most believe would be the biggest fight in UFC history between two of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.
Silva has already signed off on the idea, but St-Pierre has been a bit more skittish with the idea of accepting the bout. Penn won’t question what St-Pierre ultimately decides to do, but he knows what he would do if he got the same call from Dana White.
“That fight, that’s on Georges himself, but everybody on this call knows what B.J. Penn would do,” said Penn.
Whether the Silva vs. St-Pierre fight becomes a reality remains to be seen. St-Pierre is currently on vacation following his win at UFC 154, but when he returns UFC President Dana White plans on broaching the subject with the welterweight champion about potentially facing Silva by the middle of 2013.
Dana White On GSP’s Return – “The King Of Pay-Per-View Is Back”
The UFC has never been in the business of giving out exact numbers when it comes to returns on pay-per-view buys, but it’s safe to say they are happy to have Georges St-Pierre back in the fold.
St-Pierre has been described on numerous occasions by UFC president Dana White as the company’s No. 1 selling fighter on pay-per-view and his 19-month absence from the sport certainly didn’t do the promotion any favors.
His return at UFC 154 was a big moment because huge returns were expected, and White says St-Pierre’s pay-per-view performance did not disappoint.
“GSP delivered again. It was awesome, it was a great weekend for us,” White said on Tuesday.
No pay-per-view estimates have been released and the UFC never gives out specifics in terms of numbers, but White’s mood could only be described as jubilant after the Canadian superstar made his comeback at UFC 154.
“It was a good show,” said White. “The king of pay-per-view is back; let’s put it that way.”
St-Pierre defeated former interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit by unanimous decision in his return to the UFC.
Currently, St-Pierre is away on vacation and when he returns the UFC will discuss options for his next fight, which may include a potential superfight against Anderson Silva.
Post subject: Rory MacDonald Doesn’t Care What B.J. Penn Does
Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:51 am
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:46 am Posts: 8272
Rory MacDonald Doesn’t Care What B.J. Penn Does Or Says – “I’m Still Going To Beat His Ass”
Rory MacDonald knew he was in for a serious fight the moment he etched his name on a contract opposite former welterweight champion B.J. Penn.
But it wasn’t just because the two fighters would meet in the Octagon on Dec. 8 as part of the UFC on Fox 5 card. It also had to do with Penn’s approach leading into certain fights where psychological warfare is as dangerous as any jab he throws at an opponent.
Penn doesn’t mind poking and prodding at an opponent to get a response, but MacDonald says he’s not playing into the games.
As he prepares for the fight, MacDonald has heard all the rumors about Penn putting together a star-studded training camp, and how he’s in the best shape he’s been in, in years. None of it matters to MacDonald because he’s going to fight Penn the same regardless of his own training.
“I don’t really care, I just see a body in front of me to tell you the truth. It doesn’t matter if he’s in shape or not. It’s gonna be best for you guys if he’s in shape, cause it will probably be a better fight,” MacDonald said recently at the UFC 154 Q&A.
As legendary a shadow as Penn casts on the sport for his numerous accolades and tremendous talent, MacDonald isn’t going to let the Hawaiian get by on past accomplishments. In the here and now, MacDonald believes he’s vastly superior to Penn in every facet of the game.
“I just think that I’m a better fighter. I’m not really scared to fight him anywhere. He’s obviously very good on the ground, and a good striker; you have to be competent in all areas of mixed martial arts, and I am,” MacDonald said.
“I feel I’m a better striker, a better wrestler and better on the ground as far as MMA jiu-jitsu. Probably not straight jiu-jitsu because we all know what he’s done there, but I feel in a straight mixed martial arts fight, I’m a little more well rounded than he is.”
MacDonald knows Penn can attack at any time, and that goes for outside the cage as well.
No, MacDonald isn’t concerned that Penn is going to jump him on the street, but believes the former champion’s insistence on pre-fight drug testing is just another tactic the former champion is using to get into his head before the fight goes down.
MacDonald has said in the past that the testing is “annoying” but he’s dealing with it, and passing with flying colors.
To hear MacDonald tell it, however, tests or no tests, talk or no talk, in shape or out of shape, B.J. Penn is in for a world of hurt come Dec. 8 in Seattle.
“He’s got a lot of excuses that guy. He likes to start (expletive); he likes to get people excited. I don’t really think about it too much. He asked me to do the VADA random testing and I accepted it,” said MacDonald.
“I’ll prove to him that I’m a clean fighter. At the end of the day, he can say whatever he wants to say, get people excited, but I’m still going to beat his ass.”
GSP Says He’ll Fight Anderson Silva “When It Makes Sense”
Some time around May. That’s the timeframe that UFC president Dana White has been trying to sell as when we will see the superfight between UFC middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre and UFC welterweight champion Anderson Silva. There’s just one little hold up, and that’s the fact that St-Pierre doesn’t seem all that interested in taking the fight so soon.
St-Pierre recently came back from an 18-month layoff and showed little evidence of the dreaded ring rust when he defeated Carlos Condit at UFC 154 via unanimous decision. Yes, the longtime head honcho of the UFC’s 170-pound division looked worse for wear after absorbing 113 strikes to the melon, but he walked away the winner, unifying his title with the interim belt that Condit had won while St-Pierre was out rehabbing from knee surgery.
White has been pushing the Silva versus St-Pierre fight for some time. The promotion went so far as to fly Silva to Montreal so he could do a pre-fight question and answer session with the media and sit cageside and observe the St-Pierre versus Condit bout.
Despite the interest from Silva and White, St-Pierre doesn’t seem to feel that now is the right time for him to take the fight against the middleweight champion. Appearing on Radio-Canada's "Tout Le Monde en Parle," St-Pierre said, (translation from French via MMAFighting.com):
I'm not scared of him (Silva) -- it's just that I will take this fight when it makes sense for me. I just came back from an injury, there's money to be made, there are fights in my weight class, other challenges out there, and if I fight him, I will have to gain weight, while he will have to lose weight, and then afterwards, I won't be able to come back to my weight class.
First and foremost, I have things to do at 170 pounds. When I am ready and when I want the fight, that's when it will happen.
St-Pierre has expressed these very sentiments before, saying that a move up from his 170-pound fighting weight will not allow his naturally ectomorphic body to come back down to welterweight once he puts weight on to fight a heavier fighter. As far as the work to be done in the welterweight division, the champion is speaking the truth there as well.
Prior to his layoff, one could have claimed that St-Pierre had cleaned out the 170-pound division, but that claim no longer stands.
There’s Johny Hendricks waiting in the wings after a brutal 46-second knockout of Martin Kampmann at UFC 154. Nick Diaz will return from suspension in February. Demain Maia and Jon Fitch are getting ready to face off. Nate Marquardt will most likely transfer over from Strikeforce in early 2013.
Erick Silva will be looking to rebound and make a statement after losing to Fitch and then there’s always the chance that some sleeper fighter will make a statement in the not too distant future, say, someone like Siyar Bahadurzada. In short, there are plenty of options for St-Pierre at 170.
At this point, St-Pierre isn’t interested in a fight he referred to as “ the cherry on the sundae,” he’s interested in defending his title and continuing to build his legacy, something that no one should chastise him for.
It’s not the end of the world if the Silva versus St-Pierre fight doesn’t happen in May and it’s good to know that St-Pierre, even through the swollen and bruised eyes Condit left him with, sees things a little clearer than some.
Post subject: Nate Diaz Believes He Has To Finish Benson Henderson
Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:13 am
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:46 am Posts: 8272
Nate Diaz Believes He Has To Finish Benson Henderson, Has No Shot At Any Type Of Decision
Nate Diaz, at UFC on Fox 5 on Dec. 8, has a shot at the UFC lightweight championship currently wrapped around Benson Henderson’s waist.
He knows a lot about Henderson’s style and how to fight him, but perhaps more so than that, Diaz is sure that he doesn’t want the fight to be left in the hands of the judges.
Of his last six fights to go the distance, Diaz has lost five of them. The only one that didn’t was his lopsided victory over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 141. The overwhelming trend of decisions not ending up in his favor is something that Diaz believes will continue if he doesn’t do something about it.
“I don’t think I got a chance of winning any type of decision,” he said on Monday night’s edition of Inside MMA on AXS TV. “So I gotta go out there and do what I can do to try and finish my opponent, try to be the better fighter and win the fight.”
Post subject: Bellator Institutes Championship Rematch Clause
Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:20 am
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:46 am Posts: 8272
As the move to Spike TV in 2013 looms overhead, Bellator Fighting Championships has instituted a new championship rematch clause.
In Bellator, a title shot is earned when a fighter goes through their tournament and then competes against the champion at a later date. But on a couple of occasions, the championship fights have been razor close or exciting affairs, but no rematch could happen due to the tournament format.
Essentially even after losing a close decision, a champion or challenger would have to go back through an 8-man tournament to get another crack at the belt.
This new move ensures that challengers or champions who put on the best show and best fight will have a chance at an automatic rematch based on Bellator’s new guidelines.
“When a fighter’s earned a shot at the world title by winning The Toughest Tournament in Sports and competes in a title fight that knocks fans like us back in our seats (win or lose) delivering an incredible fight, when a rematch is called for, we will deliver it,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney announced on Monday.
“Championship fights give us some of the greatest moments in MMA. And, re-matches of incredible championship fights will give fans like us more of those electrifying moments, while staying true to the world’s best fighters having had to earn their way to those title shots.”
Top Brazilian Prospect Bruno Carvalho Signs With Bellator
Top Brazilian lightweight prospect Bruno Carvalho has signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator Fighting Championships and will begin competing there in 2013.
The promotion announced the new deal on Tuesday.
A striker with big knockout power, Carvalho has been targeting a move to a major promotion over the last few months, and now he’ll have his chance as part of Bellator as they head to Spike TV in 2013.
In the Muay Thai world, Carvalho is already well known for having two wins over current UFC prospect Edson Barboza Jr., but now the young Brazilian is looking to make his mark in MMA as well.
A winner of two fights in a row with 8 victories overall in his career, Carvalho joins a tough Bellator lightweight division with hopes of entering a tournament and earning a shot at champion Michael Chandler in the next year.
Carvalho’s debut date has not been announced yet, but he’s expected to land on one of the early cards as Bellator shifts to Spike TV.
Some might say the fall of Strikeforce started on March 12, 2011.
The promotion was seemingly on the rise with the recent implementation of the first ever Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, ratings were better than ever, and the roster of fighters seemed to be growing at a promising rate.
So it was no secret that as the competition got better, the owners at the UFC were bound to pay more and more attention.
Just as Strikeforce was ready to claim the clear cut No. 2 spot in the MMA hierarchy, financial problems beset them as has happened to so many promotions before them, and as they searched for a new backer, the road led to only one buyer.
Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC, purchased Strikeforce, and in the days after the sale was made official, UFC president Dana White sounded very much like a broken record promising nothing was changing and the phrase “business as usual” became his calling card.
Unfortunately, business was never usual for Strikeforce again after Zuffa purchased the one-time successful regional promotion.
The relationship between Zuffa officials and the executives at Showtime, the network airing Strikeforce at the time, could be described as rocky at best, and the entire deal seemed to be holding on by a very thin wire.
In September 2011, Strikeforce held the semifinals for its Heavyweight Grand Prix in Cincinnati, and if you didn’t search hard to find the show, you’d never even know it was taking place. The advertising and promotion for the card was almost zero compared to other Strikeforce shows in the past, and the live audience in Ohio didn’t turn out at all for the card featuring two Heavyweight Grand Prix bouts plus a middleweight title fight.
Things didn’t get much better when a month later White said that he was in the process of migrating much of Strikeforce’s talent over to the Octagon. Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez was the first on the roster mentioned to move, and while the switch never actually took place, the writing was on the wall that the promotion’s days were numbered.
Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz did make the move to the UFC, as did light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson, and as 2011 started to wind down, everyone was just waiting for the final nail to be planted in the coffin of the San Jose, Calif., promotion.
So it was with some shock and surprise that in December 2011, just a few months after White had all but signaled the end of the promotion, they announced that Strikeforce and Showtime had negotiated a new deal, keeping the organization alive for at least another year.
The heavyweight division would be eliminated after the finals of the Grand Prix, but all of the other weight classes and champions would remain in the promotion, and White promised to get more hands on with Strikeforce to ensure its success.
Unfortunately that approach never worked, as a few months later for whatever reason, White’s relationship with Showtime executives soured and he was back to being the guy in charge of the UFC who wanted nothing to do with answering any questions about Strikeforce.
Since that time, Strikeforce has continued to flounder and fumble at every turn.
Rarely was any new talent added to the promotion outside of a few prospects, and the fighters that were already on the roster were held to iron-clad contracts that prevented them from jumping ship to the UFC. Recycled fighters and contenders were the only ones available for title bouts, and sometimes someone would pop out of nowhere to get a title shot because they were the only ones that would take it (see Keith Jardine vs. Luke Rockhold).
The only thing that flourished under Zuffa’s reign of Strikeforce was the women’s division, but that was mainly due to the timely rise of former Olympian Ronda Rousey, and her well publicized feud with Miesha Tate. The rivalry paid off as Rousey’s undeniable appeal both in the cage and on camera produced a new superstar.
Outside of that one shining moment, however, Strikeforce has only continued to crumble in the last few months.
Injuries decimated two cards in September and November, and with a roster as thin as a sheet of paper, there were no replacements available that could be plugged in to help sell a card. Even the excitement that came from the announcement that former UFC champion Frank Mir would make the move to Strikeforce for a single fight to give Daniel Cormier one final challenge before moving to the Octagon never actually came to fruition.
Mir ended up getting injured and two other UFC heavyweights (Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo) both said thanks but no thanks when asked to go over to Strikeforce to face Cormier.
After two cancelled shows, Strikeforce appeared all but dead in the water, but the promotion along with Showtime decided to give it one more go for a mega-show in January titled “Champions.”
The idea was that all of the reigning titleholders under Strikeforce’s banner would put their belts on the line along with Cormier’s final bout for the promotion. In the midst of these negotiations, Strikeforce signed away its biggest star, Ronda Rousey, who now becomes the first ever women’s champion in the UFC.
The concept of a championship super show was great in theory, but within weeks it started to unravel.
Lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez was the first to fall by the wayside after the shoulder injury that forced him off the scheduled show in September was deemed unfit for a January return to action.
Days later, middleweight champion Luke Rockhold dropped off the card as well under similar circumstances with a wrist injury that just isn’t healed up enough yet to go ahead with a Jan. 12 fight against Lorenz Larkin.
Strikeforce and Showtime officials have yet to make any statements about the reports that two title fights have now been scrapped, and all that’s left for their January show is a welterweight title bout between Nate Marquardt and Tarec Saffiedine, and a heavyweight fight between Cormier and the relatively unknown Dion Staring.
The other fight confirmed for the show is a light heavyweight bout between Gegard Mousasi and Mike Kyle, which has less than stellar chances of actually happening because this will be the fourth time the pairing has been made and, needless to say, the first three times the fight never actually took place.
The future of Strikeforce in the big picture had to be written the day that Zuffa purchased the promotion.
Over the past few years, Zuffa has purchased several other promotions and they are all currently sharing space in the same MMA graveyard.
Pride Fighting Championships, World Extreme Cagefighting, and World Fighting Alliance were all gobbled up by the Zuffa machine, and eventually all of them were folded with talent ending up in the UFC. It’s no secret why that happened.
Why pay to keep a separate promotion alive with a different fight roster, different employees, different TV deals, and different schedules when the UFC is a thriving, monster of a business?
On the day Strikeforce was purchased by Zuffa, the questions about the future of the promotion started flying and they never stopped, and with good reason. The track record of the company showed that Strikeforce was on life support and it was just a matter of time before they yanked the cord.
Now with just over six weeks until the final Strikeforce card is set to air, this show already has missed the boat on going off without a hitch. Two title fights have already been scrapped, and it seems pessimistic, yet realistic, to believe that more changes will likely happen before January rolls around.
Strikeforce will go away after one more show (assuming it happens) and the talent will be folded into the UFC like so many promotions before it.
It can’t be ignored, however, what Strikeforce was able to do in only five years of producing MMA shows, and how it took just over a year to dismantle it all down to a pile of rubble.
Post subject: Luke Rockhold Off Upcoming Strikeforce Card
Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:34 am
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:46 am Posts: 8272
Luke Rockhold Off Upcoming Strikeforce: Champions Card Due To Injury
And the hits just keep on coming…
Strikeforce can’t seem to catch a break over their last few shows and there’s been another injury to a main card bout for their upcoming final card in January.
Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has been forced off the card with an injury, and his bout against Lorenz Larkin has been scrapped for a second time.
Sources close to the situation confirmed the change to MMAWeekly.com on Sunday with Rockhold’s nagging wrist injury the likely suspect in the fight being cancelled.
Rockhold and Larkin were originally scheduled to meet in November as part of the Strikeforce card scheduled for Oklahoma City, but the champion was also forced off that show with a similar injury.
The fight was rescheduled as part of the final card for the promotion titled Strikeforce: Champions, but now the bout appears off again.
As of now it appears the show has lost both Rockhold and lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, who is also likely out of his scheduled bout against Pat Healy.
That leaves welterweight champion Nate Marquardt as the only champion left on the show with his title defense against Tarec Saffiedine still scheduled to happen on Jan 12 along with Daniel Cormier’s finale Strikeforce bout against Dion Staring in a heavyweight showdown.
Post subject: Josh Barnett Slated For Final Strikeforce Bout
Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:38 am
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:46 am Posts: 8272
Josh Barnett Slated For Final Strikeforce Bout On Champions Fight Card In January
Former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett finally has a date and opponent for his final fight under the Strikeforce banner.
Barnett will square off with promotional newcomer Nandor Guelmino at Strikeforce: Champions on Jan. 12 in Oklahoma City, Okla. The event is also expected to be Strikeforce’s swan song, with most of its fighters gobbled up by the UFC.
Barnett (31-6) had been on eight-fight winning streak prior to his last bout, a losing effort in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix finals to Daniel Cormier.
Barnett broke his hand in that fight and has been sidelined ever since, while Strikeforce has cancelled two events during that same timespan.
It’s unclear what Barnett’s future holds beyond the January event. He has had a rocky past with UFC officials and has been rumored to be considering returning to Japan in 2013 to fight again for Pancrase, where he was the last man to hold the promotion’s open weight championship.
Guelmino is a little known Austrian heavyweight with an 11-3-1 professional record. The fight against Barnett marks his first bout in America.
After injuries ravaged the top end of Strikeforce: Champions, the main event now features Strikeforce welterweight champion Nate Marquardt putting his belt on the line against Tarec Saffiedine.
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