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Feb 7, 2006
Leonard Garcia: “Expect fireworks for twenty-five minutes”

While there may be similarities regarding an acquisition of skills, the path every mixed martial artist takes throughout his or her career is unique in nature and molds each individual accordingly. The road traveled by Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia is no different, and on March 1st, 2009, he’ll head to WEC 39 and a featherweight title-fight against current champion Mike Brown.

The trek towards Garcia’s home-State of Texas - more specifically Corpus Christi - has been nearly ten years in the making. It is the crowning moment of a professional journey having already seen its fair share of peaks — an eight-fight win streak, a classic brawl against Roger Huerta, and a 72-second knockout of Jens Pulver. It is also an opportunity Garcia nearly lost, along with so many other things, when wrongly accused of involvement in a drug trafficking ring in mid-2008.

However, Garcia is the type of man who isn’t one to give up, and as he himself states in this interview he will always “fight hard until the end”. This attitude has not only helped him overcome adversity in and out of the ring, but also rack up wins in 12-of-15 fights as well be able to boast that he’s never been finished in his career. Read ahead as he discusses, among other things, being on the WEC’s inaugural card, embracing his Latino heritage, a potential bout against WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Torres, and his understandable excitement in possibly hoisting up some WEC gold of his own come March 1st…

Brendhan Conlan: In the eyes of many fans your career started on April 7th, 2007 when you fought Roger Huerta at UFC 69. That being said, it might shock a few people to find out you’ve actually been competing in MMA since 1999. How were you originally introduced to grappling/striking? Likewise, how did you initially become interested in testing the skills you’d developed at a professional level? Did you ever imagine you would achieve the level of success you have thus far or did you feel fighting would be more of a secondary career?

Leonard Garcia: I started at eighteen. I just fought at a show, then realized that I had natural ability and started training jiujitsu. I am surprised to this day that this is my job.

Conlan: Apparently you are someone who isn’t afraid of challenges, as your debut came in a tournament that saw you submit your opening opponent in less than 90 seconds and then battle to a decision loss over a single round lasting twenty minutes. Going back to that night, what do you remember thinking/feeling as you prepared to enter the ring for the first time in your career? Do you look back on the event as being a negative experience since you weren’t able to fully enjoy your dominant win, or perhaps as a positive instead being that it confirmed your potential for success while also providing some motivation to improve in certain areas?

Leonard Garcia: I remember being nervous. I was shaking - I even forgot to take off my socks so I fought the whole fight with socks on. After the second fight, I felt that I had to train and learn. It made me start training.

Conlan: You are in the unique position of being the only current WEC athlete who also participated in the company’s first show. What do you remember about that night in 2001? Based on your two most-recent fights for the promotion, how far would you say the WEC has come since then?

Leonard Garcia: The WEC has always put on a great show. I’ve enjoyed their production, but they have gotten better as I did, so I feel like we grew together and we are still getting better.

Conlan: It’s been almost two years since your “Fight of the Night” performance against Roger Huerta at UFC 69. The match-up between you two was definitely one of the top clashes of 2007 if not in the UFC’s history. How would you compare your first experience in the Octagon to other fights you were involved in prior to it? Did you feel any butterflies before the bout simply because of it being in the UFC? What are your overall thoughts on the Huerta bout now that you’ve had some time to look back on it and reflect?

Leonard Garcia: I was so nervous I threw up in my mouth! The UFC makes your legs like JELL-O. It’s overwhelming. I look back at the fight and I wish I was in better shape. I was gassed in the second, but I stuck it out. I think that’s what makes fighters - people who are willing to fight through fatigue and keep going. I remember saying to myself, “You can still win this fight,” even though I had nothing left to give

Conlan: How long have you been working out in New Mexico with Greg Jackson’s group? How beneficial do you think it is to train alongside the likes of talented fighters such as Georges St. Pierre, Rashad Evans, Keith Jardine, Nate Marquardt, and others who call Jackson’s Submission Fighting their home? Are there any up-and-coming Mixed Martial Artists at the academy who fans may not have heard about yet but who you think they should keep an eye out for?

Leonard Garcia: I’ve been with the team two years (on March 1st). It’s a dream come true. I learn from the best. Keep an eye on Hector Munoz outta Texas. He is slick on the ground and scrappy as hell on his feet. He will be in the WEC soon. He’s fun to watch and he’s a great training partner.

Conlan: People seem to view you as primarily being a striker, especially after your recent knockouts of Jens Pulver and Hiroyuki Takaya, but your record actually shows you’ve submitted nearly three times as many guys as you’ve rendered unconscious. Do you feel your grappling skills are often underappreciated? Would you say your most recent WEC performances represent an improvement in your stand-up or are simply a result of how each particular fight unfolded?

Leonard Garcia: I’m becoming well-rounded. I will showcase my ground game as soon as someone takes me down. I’m getting better all around.

Conlan: At WEC 39 you’ll be facing current featherweight champion Mike Brown for his belt. Without giving away your entire gameplan, how are you approaching the tough-as-nails champion from a strategic standpoint? What do you think about Brown as an opponent in general?

Leonard Garcia: I think Brown is a great fighter. He’s definitely the #1 guy in our division. He’s tough. I’m gonna be in for a hell of a fight, but those are the kind that bring out the best of me, so if I fight to my ability we’ve both got a serious fight ahead.

Conlan: Have you changed your training any based on the possibility the scrap could go a full five rounds? In your opinion, why should fans NOT expect to see this fight left to the judges’ scorecards?

Leonard Garcia: To the fans - I try and finish every round. I don’t hold back. I train for a [five-round] fight so expect fireworks for twenty-five minutes.

Conlan: How incredible does it feel for a young Mixed Martial Artist from Longview to be headlining a nationally televised card taking place in his home-State of Texas? Do you feel any extra pressure to perform since you’ll essentially be facing Mike Brown in your own backyard?

Leonard Garcia: I love pressure. Like I said, it brings out the best in me. Coming from a small Texas town and being showcased in Texas is a honor. I can’t wait!

Conlan: There is little doubt Urijah Faber will face the winner of your March 1st title-fight. Have you ever given any thought to Faber as an opponent? What are your overall feelings on what “The California Kid” brings to the table?

Leonard Garcia: I’m really worried about Mike, but I will fight Urijah any time, date, or place. I think he’s a great fighter. Also, it’s a fight I’ve wanted since coming to the WEC.

Conlan: Beyond Faber and Brown, the WEC also boasts skilled featherweights like Jose Aldo, Jens Pulver, Joseph Bendavidez, and Wagnney Fabiano. What are your thoughts on your division as a whole? Is it safe to say the WEC has the top grouping of 145-pound talent in all of MMA?

Leonard Garcia: We have a great pool. All of those fights could be for titles anywhere in the world and we are all shooting for one title. I love it. Every fight is a threat [so] it makes for tough training.

Conlan: What are your thoughts on the recent controversy surrounding the job Greg Jackson and Phil Nurse did cornering St. Pierre at UFC 94? Do you think the entire thing has been blown out of proportion? As someone with 3/4 of his wins via submission, have you ever faced an opponent you felt was “greased up”, and if so, how did it affect your performance against him?

Leonard Garcia: It’s bullsh*t. I like [B.J. Penn] a lot, but Georges is not a cheater and neither is coach. I’ve fought people with Vaseline on them before, but it hurt them more then it helped them. I was able to sink a choke because of the grease so it helped my situation.

Conlan: From 2003-2006 there is a three-year gap in your career. What was that period away from MMA a result of? How did you end up diving back into professional competition after such a long layoff?

Leonard Garcia: I was able to get back in after making an attempt to become a pro boxer. I just didn’t like boxing so I went back to MMA because that is what made me happy.

Conlan: A little less than a year ago you were arrested and alleged to be involved with drug trafficking, but were fortunately cleared of the charges and have been able to move forward since then. Still, knowing your innocence in the matter, how were you originally able to cope with the possibility of facing significant jail time or having your MMA career taken away from you? Did the incident ultimately have any affect on your approach to training, fighting, and/or life in general? If so, how?

Leonard Garcia: It sucked to be in trouble for nothing. I hung out with people that were in the wrong. I never said anything even though I knew what they were doing, but I figured that if I wasnt involved I couldn’t be in trouble. Boy, was I wrong! I was facing three years at the max for obstruction of justice. It would have ended my career, but I was cleared later and I was able to get my life back. My advice to people is stay away from any wrong. It made me value life and family. It made me a better person, [and] I am glad I went through it.

Conlan: There is no denying the impact Hispanic fighters have had on the Latino community. How important is it to you to represent your heritage each time you step into the ring? Do you envision a day where Hispanic Mixed Martial Artists will receive the same adulation from their community as boxing legends like Roberto Duran, Oscar DeLaHoya, and Hector Camacho?

Leonard Garcia: I think it’s part of my fighting style. Being Hispanic, I love it when my fans get behind me. MMA fighters are gonna get praise in Mexico as long as they fight hard everytime. I can’t wait to head down there after my fight with Brown. Win, lose, or draw - they know I will fight hard till the end!

Conlan: While on the subject of talented Latinos, there tends to be a lot of talk about a potential superfight one day between Urijah Faber and WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Torres. Removing Faber from the picture, is a bout against Torres something YOU would ever be interested in being part of? What do you think about Torres as a fighter?

Leonard Garcia: I think he’s a great fighter. He also fights hard, as I do [too]. The thought of fighting a guy that tough is a great thought, but we are both Hispanics - we would have to make a lot of money to fight…but I can only imagine the ups and downs we would have!

Conlan: I appreciate you taking time out of your schedule to offer your thoughts in this interview. Any final messages you’d like to deliver to friends, fans, fighters, or even Mike Brown? (Feel free to mention any sponsors you’d like to give a shout out to and I’ll make sure they’re included in the finished product.)

Leonard Garcia: I’d like to start with GOD. Without him, none of this would be possible, but also my family and Team TapOut, Vandel Eye, Full Tilt and my manager Sven “Boogie” Bean.
Feb 7, 2006
American Top Team’s Todd Duffee latest fighter added to the UFC’s heavyweight division

Despite being in the midst of a series of cuts from its fighter roster, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is still signing new fighters to its roster. The latest is heavyweight Todd Duffee, an undefeated heavyweight prospect who trains out of American Top Team in Florida.

The web site InTheGuard.TV was the first to report the signing and has since confirmed the news with a source close to Duffee.

A debut date and first opponent for Duffee has not yet been determined.

Duffee is 4-0 and made his pro mixed martial arts debut at an International Sport Combat Federation event in June of 2007. Facing Mike Walbright, Duffee was able to walk away victorious following a first round TKO.

His second bout took place in December of that same year at a Crazy Horse Fights event where he was able to record another first round TKO just 3:22 into the fight against John Rupert Mark.

For his third fight, Duffee took a step up in competition this past August against former Sportfight veteran Josh Bennett. Bennett proved to be no match for Duffee, as he was knocked out just 1:25 into the fight.

Duffee then traveled down to Brazil this past September to compete for the Jungle Fight promotion against former UFC veteran Assuerio Silva. For the first time in his career, Duffee was taken into the second round but he was able to finish the fight just 1:17 into the round after TKO’ing Silva with punches.
Feb 7, 2006
Karo Parisyan's Win Over Dong Hyun Kim Could Be Ruled a No Contest

“[When] there is a failed drug test, the commission at its discretion could overturn a victory or draw and make it a no contest. We have actually done that a few times, that is the most common of the four [grounds for overturning the decision].”

Parisyan will appear in front of the commission next Tuesday to explain why he had threee different opiate sin his system at the time of the UFC 94 fight.
However, Kizer says that even if the drugs do turn out to have been prescribed, it is unlikely to mitigate the length of ban that Parisyan is likely to be handed
Feb 7, 2006
Miletich Talks WAMMA, Sports Agents, UFC Gyms

Pat Miletich is a legend in the sport of MMA. If the UFC Hall of Fame were a credible one Miletich would surely be mentioned there for his achievements as both a fighter and trainer (just as an aside, any hall that omits Frank Shamrock, Tito Ortiz, and the aforementioned Miletich is going to have problems being taken seriously). Pat recently sat down with SportsAgentBlog to talk about his role with WAMMA as well as a host of other issues, some business related:

Wimsett: What do you think about all the karate dojos advertising “MMA classes” now?

Miletich: It’s kind of funny. It wasn’t that long ago when those guys were telling their students, you can’t go fight MMA, these moves are designed to kill. I find that amusing. But in the long run, it’s probably good. It brings more exposure to the sport. Ultimately, WAMMA and state athletic commissions will need to look at what these dojos are doing and whether there needs to be more regulation so guys don’t get hurt.

Wimsett: What are your thoughts on sports agents entering the MMA space?

Miletich: The innocence of the sport is gone. But, agents are the guys that have the connections to the big sponsor dollars and they’ve negotiated really large contracts so that’s a good thing to have on your side.

Wimsett: Take “fighter X”, in the middle of the pack, does he need an agent?

Miletich: Everyone needs some sort of representation so they don’t get taken advantage of. You need someone who knows what to look for in contracts. Some of these guys have the Nike, Adidas contacts. They can bring more money to the table.

Wimsett: Have you seen the new UFC-branded gyms? Your thoughts.

Miletich: Smart business idea by the UFC. The quality of instruction remains to be seen inside of them. This is a sport where bigger is probably not better. If you can find a hole in the wall gym and learn from a guy who really knows his stuff - that’s a better training environment. But I don’t think those are the guys these branded gyms are really looking for anyway. I think they’re mostly looking for the kids and housewives who just want to get in shape.

Pat makes an excellent point about the role of agents. The moves by the UFC are increasingly having the effect of marginalizing the role of the agent/manager. The Jon Fitch Videogame drama served as a case study for the UFC seeking to place a wedge between the fighters and their representatives, with some like Mike Swick being more than happy to side with the fight company over the guy that has the fiduciary responsibility to look after his best interests. The UFC is also making the job of the agents tougher with their moves to capture a portion of the sponsorship dollars that the fighter receives. has received information that the planned move to make a grab at fighter sponsor dollars as mentioned on our site as well as MMAJunkie is moving forward, with longtime sponsors being contacted and informed of the new paradigm, with companies having to pay the UFC for the right to sponsor fighters they already had pre-existing deals with. Strong representation in the form of agents/managers is a needed counterbalance to the fight company to help ensure the rights of the fighter are at least nominally looked after.
Feb 7, 2006
Nogueira vs. Couture possible for June

After the traumatic loss to Frank Mir at UFC 92, last December, Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira stayed in the U.S. to do, last Saturday (7th), a knee surgery, in San Diego. “Minotauro had a knee surgery and will be back to Brazil next weekend…He shouldn’t have done this fight with Mir, his knee was going out all the time”, said Luiz Alves, his Muay Thai coach.

“He was supposed to fight Randy (Couture), but I don’t know. They haven’t confirmed it yet, and Couture also did a surgery in his elbow… But I prefer this fight, it’ll be good to Rodrigo. They want this fight and I believe it won’t be that difficult to Rodrigo. It’s a tough fight, but I think Randy has no knockout power in his punch and, on the ground, Rodrigo will submit”, bets.
Feb 7, 2006
Rafael dos Anjos talks fight with Tyson Griffin

Black belt from Gracie Fusion, Rafael dos Anjos was one of the great names of Brazilian selective for the ADCC, which took place last weekend at the Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas gymnasium, in Rio de Janeiro. In conversation with TATAME, Rafael commented about the controversy guillotine he suffered in his fight against Milton Vieira (BTT). Before winning the fight for 2x0, the athlete received a guillotine choke from Vieira, but the judge ordered them to separate just when the athletes approached to the judges table, which revolted Milton, that had to return to the starting position.

"I have no doubt that the position wasn’t locked. If the guy really had locked it, I would say to continue, because it would be wrong. But I was defending the guillotine in his “knife hand”, so, he also left the position, or else he would hit in the hand and get hurt. I was fully defended, and Murilo Bustamante (BTT leader) saw it and I spoke with him, who agreed. I called the judge and said: "the guy’s coach is saying that the position wasn’t locked". Murilo said that and the fight started on foot, normally", said Rafael.

Focused on his next fight, which will mark his return to the UFC, on April 1st, against the tough American Tyson Griffin, Rafael spoke a little about his expectations. "I came to the ADCC only to get on rhythm, competition, but my focus now the Ultimate fight. The tactic is more or less the same as always, but I’ll do differently than I did in my last fight, which I walked back… I gotta walk forward full time, doing the game standing, feeling the fight... Let's see what he will offer me on the time of the fight", ended.
Feb 7, 2006
Hayato "Mach" Sakurai: "Aoki underestimates the welterweight."

DREAM had a press conference on February 12 and announced participants in the welterweight tournament which started at DREAM.8 on April 5. Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, Shinya Aoki, and a winner of Seichi Ikemoto vs Hideki Kadoma at "DEEP 40 Impact" on February 20 are announced. Dream event producer Keiichi Sasahara said, “8 fighters (4 Japanese and 4 foreigners) participate in, and the semi-final and final are at Saitama Super Arena on July 20. Mach defeated Aoki by decision in 2005, and I'm considering their rematch in this tournament.”

Hayato 'Mach' Sakurai:
“This tournament means a lot to me. I absolutely want to win this tournament. If I can choose my opponent, I want to fight top foreign fighters such as Nick Diaz and Jake Shields. Is Aoki serious about fighting in March as well? I consider he just underestimates the welterweight. I understand he developed himself since we fought 4 years ago, yet he is definitely not taking this seriously.”

Shinya Aoki:
"I accepted this offer because I though I was the one who could put enthusiasm into the tournament. I also believe I need this experience to be a better fighter. BJ Penn couldn't do good in the Welterweight. Although, I have a confidence that I can win in this class if I give my all. I'm comfortable fighting in the light weight, and this is my one-time challenge"

DREAM.8 Welterweight GP 2009 1st Round
Date: April 5, 16:00~
Place: Gaishi Hall, Aichi
Feb 7, 2006
3 fighters added to Sengoku Featherweight GP

WVR had a press conference in Tokyo on February 12 and announced 3 more fighters who participate in the Featehrweight GP: Michihiro Omikawa, Shintaro Ishiwatari, and Seiya Kawahara.

Date: March 20, 17:00 ~
Place: Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tokyo

Light Heavyweight one match:
Ryo Kawamura vs King Mo
Featherweight tournament participants:
Hatsu Hioki
Marlon Sandro
Ronnie Ushiwaka (Ronnie Mann)
Chris Manuel
Nick Denis
Masanori Kanehara
Tetsuya Yamada
Chang Son Jon
Michihiro Omikawa
Shintaro Ishiwatari
Seiya Kawahara
Feb 7, 2006
Double trouble? Junie Browning's brother on "The Ultimate Fighter 9"

The upcoming ninth edition of "The Ultimate Fighter," which debuts April 1 on Spike TV with a U.S. vs. U.K. theme, will feature at least one familiar last name.

A source close to the fighter has told ( that Robert Browning (1-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), the younger brother of controversial season-eight cast member Junie Browning, was one of 16 American fighters chosen to compete in the season-opening elimination round.

The show is currently in production, and the 22-year-old Browning is in Las Vegas with the other American and British participants.

As with other recent seasons of the show, "TUF 9" uses a 32-man tournament format (broken into two different weight classes). Each fighter must win an elimination-round bout to earn a spot on the official 16-person TV cast. The show will ultimately feature eight welterweight fighters and eight lightweights.

(To avoid spoilers, we aren't revealing the outcome of Browning's fight.)

"The Ultimate Fighter 9: U.S. vs. U.K." began production earlier this month. Former PRIDE champion Dan Henderson heads the U.S. team, and Michael Bisping, who was the middleweight winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 3," leads the U.K. squad. The show debuts on April 1 after a broadcast of UFC Fight Night 18.

According to the database, Robert Browning has a 1-0 professional record and a 4-2 amateur mark. He's fought exclusively in organizations in his home state of Kentucky, which included the American Fight League, where he holds the organization's amateur featherweight title. (One AFL fight, which included a colorful cage entrance and some questionable in-ring antics, can be found below.)

His brother, Junie Browning, a lightweight semifinalist for Team Mir on "The Ultimate Fighter 8," was nearly kicked off the show multiple times due to a series of outbursts, usually fueled by alcohol. He threw glasses at fellow cast members Kyle Kingsbury and Shane Primm, and UFC President Dana White read Junie the riot act on more than one occasion. He was knocked out of the competition by eventual show winner Efrain Escudero, but Junie rebounded for a second-round submission victory over Dave Kaplan at the show's live finale. He next meets Cole Miller in a UFC Fight Night 18 televised main-card bout on April 1.

A source close to the show told that Robert Browning, like his big brother, also creates some drama before he even steps into the cage.
Feb 7, 2006

Quinton Jackson, Chuck Liddell, and Keith Jardine are all fighters that Wanderlei Silva has faced since returning to the UFC. They are also all light heavyweight fighters that, when they are not fighting, walk around well above the 205-pound limit of the weight class.

What weight does Silva walk around at outside of the Octagon?

Try 208 pounds.

It's no surprise then that "The Axe Murderer's" recent UFC record is 1-2 against that cast of characters. He doesn't pawn off his losses to the disparity in size, though.

"I think it is the technique," Silva told, saying that he lowered his hand against Jackson at UFC 92 and the former UFC light heavyweight champion took advantage.

He does realize, however, that contrary to popular belief size does matter. He's ready to drop down and see if he is a fit in the middleweight division.

"Yeah, I could try because every guy in my division have to cut to 205 and my normal is 208. I'm going to test now... I'm going to cut my weight. Maybe I go to fight in my next fight at 185," says Silva. Always toeing the company line, he's not ready to make a permanent move, adding, "I could fight in both divisions; I could fight 185 and 205."

It's not something that he jumped into overnight. Silva has been talking about 185 for a long time, but it looks like the UFC is ready for the move, too. "I've been lots and lots of thinking about this now, I see what (UFC president) Dana (White) wants. What he wants (me) to fight, no problem. I talk with (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva and... say no problem, I'm down for 185? He say, no problem."

Talking with the famed Brazilian knockout artist, there is a sense that whatever comes his way next, he has finally broken in his new house and made it a comfortable home with the UFC.

"In three fights in UFC, I had all places. I lose one hard fight with Chuck, I beat one guy so fast, one guy beat me, it's too much experience," relayed Silva. "I'm thinking now I have much more lessons for to give my fighters."

Now it's just a matter of time. Despite the onslaught of UFC events in the near term, it appears Silva will be making final preparations for his next bout in the sizzling summer heat at his new gym in Las Vegas.

He's anxious to step back in the Octagon, though his five-year-old son is reaping the benefits of dad's down time. Silva finds himself playing with his son in the morning instead of having to go straight to the gym.

"My life is fighting. I love to fight. Now I wake up in the morning and... where am I going? I play with my son," he says with a grin on his face, but his eyes belying the call of his chosen profession.

"My work is training. I need to train. Now I want to train more," he commanded. " I don't know what plans the UFC, but I am ready for to fight in June or July."
Feb 7, 2006

Whoever coined the phrase “you can never go home again” never met Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight Kurt Pellegrino.

After a few years fighting out of Florida with mixed results, Pellegrino relocated back to his native New Jersey and has been on a tear, impressively dispatching Thiago Tavares and Rob Emerson en route to a two-fight winning streak.

“The fight went as I planned,” said Pellegrino of his win over Emerson at UFC Fight Night 17 this past Saturday. “The only regret I have is not coming out ferociously and try to knock him out in the first round.

“He put me on my back twice, which I’m upset about, but I’ll readjust my training a little bit and put in more wrestling. Everything I wanted to do I executed, so I’m very happy with the outcome.”

Pellegrino is quick to point out the keys to his success lay in his work with his new coaches, namely Miguel Torres, Kevin Kerns, and especially fellow UFC lightweight Kenny Florian.

“Kenny has me on a strict schedule and everything he has me doing is working so much,” he stated. “I’m grounded, healthy and ready to rock and roll. This was the best move of my life, moving back home to New Jersey.”

Part of going home again has Pellegrino rediscovering areas of his game that may have gotten underdeveloped while he was away.

“I’m really going to go back to my wrestling,” he said. “My next training camp that is definitely going to be one of the big things I’m doing.

“My striking is at its highest level and people know that I have good hands and kicks, so now they think they may be able to take me down, but it’s not happening.”

With his back-to-back wins, Pellegrino has placed himself back in the hunt for the 155-pound title, to which he can get even closer should one or both of the proposed fights on his agenda come through.

“Right now my agent is going to sit down and talk to me and the way it looks it will maybe be Joe Lauzon or Clay Guida,” he said of his next fight. “That’s not me calling me out – I’m not calling them out – but this is what people and my agent are saying to me.

“If (either fight) happens, of course I’ll sign the paper. Beating me would be a good win for them, me beating them would be a good win for me, so it’s stupid for any one of us to not fight each other.”

Back on track and with prospects that appear bright, Pellegrino finds himself once again at the right place at the right time, and he couldn’t be happier.

“I want to thank Warrior Wear for sponsoring me, my agent Dean Albrecht, Miguel Torres, Kenny Florian, Kevin Kerns, and my wife and family,” he concluded. “Thanks also to for this interview.

“To the fans, 2009 is going to be my year. Check me out hopefully in May, June or July on a main card; and Godspeed to whoever I fight next.”
Feb 7, 2006
Bigfoot can return to the Sengoku in April

Returning to Japan with victory, in Sengoku’s first edition in 2009, Antônio "Bigfoot" Silva is training hard at the American Top Team, with the eye on his next fight in the Japanese event. "So far I have no date set yet. In March, they’ll promote a lightweights event, and I’ll probably fight in the April’s event, which will have the heavyweights and will be a bigger event", said Bigfoot, waiting for a good opponent ahead.

"I already came back to the base trainings, Jiu-Jitsu, and I don’t have in mind who I can fight, but we have good fighters and Sengoku is growing a lot,” said Antônio. “They signed a deal with HDNet for transmission in the United States and will seek more good fighters... I have to be trained, physically well, with the standing part, ground and Wrestling well to fight with who they think is better".

Besides the fight inside the ring, the athlete is holding a battle outside, against the California Athletic Commission, which banned him for a year of events in the United States after a doping accusation. Suing the CSAC in the civil court, the athlete waits, now, for a fair defense, after having the request for review of the evidences rejected in the first act of defense, at the Commission itself. "I haven’t got the date of the judgment yet, but it seems to be in March", says.

"The lawyer is waiting and we have to wait for a new date,” said Silva. “For the first time a Commission hearing was postponed. For the first time an athlete is suing the Commission and this is good not only for me but for other fighters, because nobody can be judged and convicted without being heard, without seeing the evidence and you have the right to a defense. Now I’m very confident is this victory, both for me as for other athletes".
Feb 7, 2006
Will Ribeiro shows improvement

At the night of December 16th, Will Ribeiro was involved in a motorcycle accident in Rio de Janeiro and was hospitalized in serious condition at the Hospital of Andaraí. Almost two months after the serious accident that almost cost his life, Luiz Alves, his Muay Thai, commemorates the excellent recovery of the WEC fighter. "I had visited him at Christmas and then in January, but I left very sad and swore I wouldn’t return there anymore. He was swollen, very thin... But I was there yesterday and left very happy, because he spoke with me, remember everything that happened, kissed me", revealed Luiz. "He is already in the ward, it’s better because he can watch TV now, he’s doing physiotherapy, is eating well and is excited".
Feb 7, 2006
Cyborg talks about Cacareco at Chute Boxe

After the Jungle Fight 5, when he submits the Chute Boxe athlete Julio César Jamata, Alexandre "Cacareco" Ferreira, at that time representing Brazilian Top Team, challenged Evangelista "Cyborg", one of the main fighters of the rival team. The confrontation never happened, but the disagreement behind the scenes of the show, which happened in 2005, just complicated the relationship between Cacareco and Cyborg. After leaving the BTT, Cacareco passed a time without train, until, through a report published in TATAME, Rudimar Fedrigo, leader of Chute Boxe team, knew about his situation and called the athlete to train at their team.

"I’m suspect to talk about it, because he’s a guy who I don’t like much, because I haven’t had much contact, and the little that I had wasn’t the best, but we’ll see," said Cyborg. "Actually, I never spoke with him, but I didn’t like some thing he said, he’s a guy who jumps from team to team, passed by 10 different teams... Nothing better than a academy training to solve the disagreements".
Feb 7, 2006
Vargas Talks MMA

Former boxing champ Fernando Vargas sits down with the Las Vegas Sun to talk about his upcoming Boxing/MMA card. Checkout video of the interview here. While MMA purists scoff at the viability of such cards, kudos to folks like Vargas who are putting the rubber down to the pavement and going forward with these cards. While both sports will still have their fans who remain provincial, it is heartening to see a softening of stances between the two. Vargas for his part is talking a good game when it comes to MMA:

“Of course I love boxing, it’s my first love. But I looked at Roy Englebrecht (promoter) and told him I want to put on an mixed martial arts show,” Vargas said, of his transition into the promoting aspect of the fight game.

“There’s a new rage and craze in the world and it’s MMA. But I wanted to be the first one to do a show with both.”
Feb 7, 2006
ProElite Filing Reveals Asset Sale Details

Details of the ProElite asset sale to Strikeforce are starting to trickle out, as ProElite has started to make the necessary filings with the SEC required for a public company. ProElite looks to have gotten a lump sum up front as well as percentages on future cards put on by Strikeforce:

Consideration paid for the assets consisted of (i) $3 million in cash paid at closing, (ii) the assumption of certain liabilities relating to the assets sold and (iii) contingent consideration in the form of rights to receive a portion of the license fee earned by Strikeforce under a distribution agreement between Strikeforce and Showtime Networks Inc. (”Showtime”). The license fee is payable to the Sellers until February 28, 2012, subject to limited extensions.

Probably the most interesting part here is the cut that ProElite will receive from the licenses fees paid by Showtime to Strikeforce. This gives ProElite a passive stream of income that can help fund their other ventures, since it seems they are staying in the MMA game in some shape or fashion. For Strikforce’s sake, they should have negotiated a manageable percentage, one that one won’t mean the difference between profitability or not on their cards. Coker has a good financial head, so this figure should be something that can be worked around when putting the various cards together.

Another interesting portion of the filing:

In connection with the closing of the transactions under the Purchase Agreement, the Sellers also entered into certain non-exclusive license agreements with Strikeforce, pursuant to which Strikeforce will license from the Sellers certain trademarks and other specified intellectual property.

This is likely in regards the usage of the ShoXC trademarks that ProElite holds. It is interesting that these items were licensed instead of sold outright. With ProElite moving forward as a going venture, they may seek to work with Showtime at some later point under the ShoXC brand. Showtime seems to be varying their ties to MMA, with the retained stake they have in ProElite, the deal with Strikeforce, and their deal to produce the Affliction PPV’s. If they look to expand the ShoXC series in the future beyond the capacity that Strikeforce can deliver, ProElite/KOTC may be an in-house option to do that with.
Feb 7, 2006
GSP on Alves: ‘Biggest Challenge of My Career’
video link:
UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, having grown weary of answering questions related to his immediate past, has turned his attention toward the next formidable challenge placed in his path -- Thiago Alves.

“Thiago Alves, no doubt, is the biggest challenge of my career,” St. Pierre told in an exclusive video interview. “He has done stuff nobody has done before. It’s going to be a very, very tough fight.”

Alves (16-3) has rattled off seven consecutive wins, the last three against top 10 welterweights Karo Parisyan, Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck. Ten of the 25-year-old Brazilian destroyer’s 16 career victories have come by knockout or technical knockout, as he has emerged as perhaps the most-feared striker in the welterweight division.

St. Pierre (18-2) throttled lightweight titleholder B.J. Penn in their hyped UFC 94 rematch in January and will carry a five-fight winning streak into his next bout. Allegations of “greasing” continue to dog the 27-year-old Canadian in wake of his rout of Penn, which saw him pass the Hawaiian’s feared guard with surprising ease en route to a fourth-round TKO. Penn declined to come out of his corner for the fifth round.

“He said I was a quitter,” St. Pierre said. “I’m not the one who didn’t come back for the fifth round.”
Feb 7, 2006
PFC announces hybrid event for April 23

Building on a history of successful mixed martial arts and boxing cards at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, Calif., the Palace Fighting Championships recently announced a hybrid card featuring both sports for April 23.

The MMA portion of the card currently features seven bouts, while the boxing bouts have yet to be announced.

The announcement comes on the heels of a host of added contests to the organization's May 8 event, "PFC 13: Validation."

Featuring such emerging talent as SportFight veteran Enoch Wilson and former WEC fighter Blas Avena, the card will be the PFC's follow up to the Feb. 6 event "Best of Both Worlds."

The February card featured wins by Alexis Vila, Ulysses Gomez and Erin Toughill in the MMA portion of the card, while MMA veterans Poppies Martinez and Dewey Cooper fought in the boxing portion of "Best of Both Worlds." The NABO super-middleweight championship and WBC CABOFE heavyweight championship were also contested during the boxing portion of the February event.

The MMA portion of the card currently includes:

Jimmy Jarquin vs. Enoch Wilson
Jason Carpenter vs. Darren Crisp, Jr.
Sergio Quinones vs. David Smith
George Lockhart vs. Mike Martinez
Blas Avena vs. Kengo Ura
April Cautino vs. Sarah Kaufman
Paulina Ramirez vs. TBA
Feb 7, 2006

The British Fighting Championship is serious, make no mistake about that, and Friday’s press conference was the culmination of 18 months of behind the scenes work by the promoters involved. Convened at the Ultimate Training Centre in Birmingham, England, the respective heads of Cage Warriors, FX3, Ultimate Force, AMMA and, although not physically present, the Ultimate Warrior Challenge, announced initial tournament draws via a lottery.

From initial announcement of their plans, applications for participation in the new series have been flowing in thick and fast with fighters from all over the U.K., both established and upstarts. The layout of the BFC will run in a similar way to the defunct PRIDE tournaments for heavyweights, middleweights, and so on. With the names matched, fights will then take place over the course of the year, leading to quarterfinals, semi-finals, and final matchups to determine the British Fighting Champion of 2009 in each weight category.

Andy Lillis offered his thoughts on the subject. “The key thing is to provide an organic growth platform for fighters, a springboard platform to move up to the international stage, so realistically, we expect that fighters that get to the finals will be picked up by the big promotions, and then, when 2010 rolls into view we start it all again.”

For those new to the BFC this will seem like a strange concept, but the key to remember is that the talent pool in the U.K. will be harnessed and developed as the year goes on. Each event will be hosted by the regional show with winners advancing, but that’s not to say that the talent pool can’t still pursue fights outside the BFC, subject to avoiding clashes within a safe timeframe of dates of course.

Anyway, enough analysis, lets have a quick look at the draws – fights listed in brackets determine pre-contracted eliminator fights where the winner will be left to compete as part of the qualifiers for the BFC tournament. Finally, in the case of Light Heavyweights, because the division was so under subscribed, the top seeded U.K. players have been given a pass to the quarterfinals in order to give a chance for upcoming talent to shine.

James Doolan vs. Dan Monroe
Phil Harris vs. Lee Coleville
Lee Remedios vs. Paddy Dougherty
Steve McCombe vs. (James Saville vs. Dan Corbley eliminator)
Neil McCloud vs. Neil Searey
James McGuinness vs. Mark Handley
Mark Chen vs. Gareth Davis
Paul McVeigh vs. Declan Williams

Vaughn Harvey vs. Phil Else
Neil Fraser vs. Simon Boulter
David Smyth vs. Pete Mcgurk
Danny Batten vs. Carson John
Jean Silva vs. Ashleigh Grimshaw
Owen Roddy vs. Mickey Young
Dave Lee vs. Jordan Miller
Aaron Blackwell vs. Jarred Ferre

Paul Sass vs. Tim Radcliffe
Daniel Thomas vs. David Johnson
Harvey Harra vs. Ian Butlin
Jason Ball vs. Jason Young
Abdul Mohammed vs. Ian Jones
Lee Weizoreck vs. Andrew Fisher
Greg Loughran vs. Leandro Coledresanto
Paul Jenkins vs. Sami Berik

Lee Livingstone vs. Emmet McNully
Ross Pointon vs. Cliff Hall
Wayne Murray vs. James Bateman
Lee Doski vs. Jason Quibec
C’he Mills vs. Kurt Wallburton
Simon Phillips vs. John Quinn
Lucas Les vs. Leslie Ojugbana
Jimmy Wallhead vs. Fabio Toldo

John Phillips vs. Lloyd Clarkson
Chris Rice vs. (Andrew Penchant vs. Aiden Cole eliminator)
Matt Thorpe vs. Greg Chiver
Paul Cahoon vs. Jose Ze Marcello
Pierre Guillet vs. Eugene Fadiora
Denniston Sutherland vs. Lola Bamgbala
Mark Weir vs. Alex Reid
Alex Cook vs. Christian Smith

Top Seeds: Arunas Andriuskevicius, Tom Blackledge, Dan Burzotta, Premislaw Mysiala

David Wilson vs. Lynton Vassell
Kenny Dougan vs. Dave Rintal
Ryan White vs. Lenis Jones
Ryan Robinson vs. Ian Rush

Damian Grabowski vs. Rob Broughton
Chris Cooper vs. (Wayne Buck vs. Darren Moore eliminator)
Stav Economou vs. Shawn McKenning
Dave Keely vs. Oli Thompson
Feb 7, 2006

Here they are: all the mistakes UFC heavyweight prospect Cain Velasquez says he made in his annihilation of Denis Stojnic at UFC Fight Night 17.

“When he would throw, I would stay away from his punches, but I wasn’t countering as he threw,” Velasquez tells “So when he would throw his big shots, I wasn’t in his face and throwing something at him.

“Pivoting more on my punches.

“When I threw a punch my other hand would come down just a little bit.

“I felt I was coming in too carelessly. When I hit him and rocked him back to the cage, my other hand went down and I was just going forward recklessly.”

And that was just the response to how he felt about the fight.

If you haven’t guessed already, the 26-year-old Velasquez is his own worst critic. He says he’s always been that way, ever since he wrestled and played football in high school, went on to a decorated collegiate wrestling career at Arizona State University, and jumped into the exploding sport of MMA.

At 5-0, people are talking about Velasquez in a way usually reserved for the top rung of the division. He tries to ignore it – you won’t see him going on the forums and reading what people say about him. He did, after all, commit the cardinal sin of letting his last fight go past the first round.

In his defense, he says, he suffered a cut under his eye two weeks before the fight, and couldn’t do any sparring.

“For the little stuff right now, the tweaking and stuff, I think (these fights are) perfect, because by the time we fight the guys at the top of the ladder I should have everything down,” Velasquez assures.

It certainly seems like he is being groomed for big things. He buzz-sawed through Brad Morris and Jake O’Brien before meeting an overmatched Stojnic last Saturday. In a division infinitely smaller than his welterweight teammates at American Kickboxing Academy, he’s really not that far from the top. Fans are already abuzz about a possible meeting with the winner of Shane Carwin vs. Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 96 in March. Velasquez says he’d like to return to fight in May.

“Gonzaga has a problem with later rounds,” he says. “I don’t know if it’s conditioning or what, but later in the fight. That’s the only problem I see with Gonzaga.

“(Carwin’s) got a good record, but I haven’t seen too many of his fights outside of the UFC. The way he’s been taking care of people is impressive. Anybody who’s that big, like Brock Lesnar, is dangerous. It wouldn’t matter who. Either one I’d love to fight."

Velasquez says he will work hard in the coming months to iron out the kinks in his game, even as he supports his girlfriend, who is pregnant with a girl – Coral Love Velasquez – and due in May.

“I come from the Bay Area,” he quips about his soon-to-be daughter’s name.

At the end of this week, he will return to AKA to begin the quest to perfection.