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Feb 7, 2006
Shamrock Says He Prefers Tito Ortiz After Diaz

With his focus now turned directly at Nick Diaz in anticipation of their April 11th main event fight on Showtime, Frank Shamrock told MMAWeekly Radio recently that if he had to pick between Cung Le and Tito Ortiz for his next fight, he'd prefer the "Huntington Beach Bad Boy."

"I think I'd be up for Tito just because I think there's a time limit on that match," said Shamrock. "Both with Tito's fame and his body, and also for me. I love Cung, he's a great guy, but frankly I made nothing on the pay-per-view, and financially it wasn't a big money maker. He doesn't have the personality that gets over, he's just a difficult guy to promote. He looks like a great guy."

The time factor is the biggest reason Shamrock feels that a rematch against Ortiz makes more sense if it gets put together, but he doesn't deny that having a fighter who will promote the fight the way Ortiz can makes a big difference on the back end when it comes to money and fan fare.

"We're in the business of sports entertainment and we're all entertainers. We just happen to fight," Shamrock stated. "If you're not entertaining both in the fight and leading up to the fight, you're not a good entertainer, and there's a lot of fighters we have that are not good entertainers. Unfortunately, Cung falls into that category."

Ortiz is currently still recovering from back surgery, but has said in the past he believes he will be ready to fight again in mid-2009. If a deal can be made to put the two former UFC champions together in a rematch, it could be a super fight that could garner major numbers for either Showtime or CBS if Strikeforce promotes the bout.

Shamrock also knows that the rematch against Cung Le is bound to happen, but he's not rushing it for now.

"I'm not worried about Cung," said Shamrock. "We'll try to get him in this year and if not I'll get him in next year."
Feb 7, 2006
Yoshida Not Retiring! Light Heavyweight Continuation

Hidehiko Yoshida announced at his VIVA JUDO class today that he will not retire and that he wants to win once at Light Heavyweight. A phone call from a drunk Sakuraba at night was also a big factor in his decision.

He has already begun light practice. However, it might take a while until he returns to the ring as he says that participation in March or May is impossible and he doesn’t know about July. So it looks like he will return in the summer or after. He wants to slowly lose weight this time and not drop all at once as he did against Sanae Kikuta.
Feb 7, 2006
Lightweight Ryan Couture earns second amateur win in TUFF-N-UFF main event

LAS VEGAS - The name Couture carries a lot of weight in the Las Vegas fight scene.

As far as Art Martinez was concerned, that weight was about 155 pounds.

Martinez offered Ryan Couture no more respect in the main event of Saturday's TUFF-N-UFF Amateur Fighting Championship than he would any other opponent, though the Team Fubar fighter's feelings may have changed on the Orleans Arena canvas as he tapped out 28 seconds into the second round.

Couture worked through several stiff blows by Martinez early in the first round en route to a clinch. Couture moved deftly to Martinez's back while standing, then leapt to his opponent's arm while nearly pulling off a Dustin Hazelett-esque submission. Couture missed and had to settle for pulling guard, but he quickly used that position to lock in an armbar attempt.

Martinez tried desperately to slam out of the maneuver, but Couture held tight and transitioned the hold into a very tight triangle choke. Martinez remained calm and worked his body to the side in order to relieve some of the pressure on his neck. Couture reacted by returning to an arm bar attempt, locking in the move fully just as time expired.

The second frame quickly picked up where the first left off.

After Martinez missed with a knee, Couture closed the distance and dragged his opponent to the mat. The 26-year-old then moved immediately to Martinez's back, slid his right hand under his opponent's neck and locked in the fight-ending rear-naked choke.

Following the bout, Couture said he felt good about his performance.

"I felt pretty good about it," Couture told ( "Jitters get to you, but I felt real good.

"I felt like I had him sort of desperate to end the fight on the ground with him on top. When he didn't get that, I was able to threaten with the triangle choke and almost finish him in the first. I felt like I was the better fighter everywhere the fight went, and that's what I was hoping to do."

Couture said the heavy punches that Martinez offered to open the bout proved to be glancing blows.

"I could see them coming," Couture said. "I was blocking them for the most part. They were pretty wide, so they were getting around my guard and to the back of the head a little bit. But it was nothing that hurt. That's the important part."

With his famed UFC veteran father, Randy, opting for a seat in the audience versus in his son's corner, Ryan ran his amateur record to 2-0 with the win.

In no rush to turn pro, Couture said he hopes to return to amateur action next month.

"I'm thinking March 27 I'll be fighting back in Bellingham, Wash.," Couture said. "Then I'll be looking to get back into Las Vegas by summertime."


Ryan Couture def. Art Martinez via submission (rear-naked choke) -- Round 2, 0:28
Truett Anderson def. Chance Torres via unanimous decision
Nick Fekete def. Shawn Frye via submission (rear-naked choke) -- Round 3, 0:37
Kenny Marazolla def. Ernesto Martinez via KO (punch) -- Round 1, 0:26^
Bill Cooper def. Tommy Phelps via submission (rear-naked choke) -- Round 1, 1:48^
Christian Palencia def. Chaz Mulkey via submission (guillotine choke) -- Round 1, 1:08+
Odis Ruiz def. Joe Tussing via unanimous decision+
Sarah Weeks def. Kandice Gibson via TKO (punches from mount) -- Round 1, 1:39
Junior Gomez def. Jared Jensen via TKO (punches) -- Round 2, 1:41*
Eddie Jackson def. Johnny Batres via KO (punch) -- Round 3, 0:08^
Joshua Morgan def. Michael Ryan McNamara via split decision^
Justin Ford def. David Cabico via submission (D'arce choke) -- Round 1, 1:05+
Rich St. Claire def. Eric Bosely via KO (kick) -- Round 1, 0:12+
Victor Henry def. Wayne Wrath via KO (kick) -- Round 1, 0:21
Jamie Hernandez def. Billy Bull via unanimous decision*
^Quarterfinals of eight-man, 170-pound tournament
+Quarterfinals of eight-man, 155-pound tournament
*Semifinals of four-man, 135-pound tournament
Feb 7, 2006
Dominique Robinson replaces UFC signee Brian Cobb in PFC 13 title fight

With former title-holder Brian Cobb recently signed to a UFC contract, he will be replaced by Dominique Robinson (4-2) on the May 8 Palace Fighting Championship's "PFC 13" card.

Robinson takes on former WEC challenger Carlo Prater (23-6-1) for the now-vacant PFC lightweight title.

The bout is one of five title fights set for the card, which takes place at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif.

PFC Promoter Christian Printup confirmed the fight change on The Underground, a popular MMA forum.

Cobb, who was set to make his third PFC title defense at the upcoming event, instead recently signed with the UFC so he could replace Justin Buchholz in a UFC 95 fight with Terry Etim. The event takes place Feb. 21 at The 02 in London, England.

Cobb's replacement, Robinson, makes his third PFC appearance. He's won his past two fights, both in the PFC, against Chuck Kim and Takumi Nakayama.

Prater, a six-year MMA veteran, returns to competition for the first time since a WEC 35 TKO loss to top contender Brock Larson at in August. Prater will drop to lightweight for the May 8 fight, which will be his first in the PFC.
Feb 7, 2006
Nate Marquardt on Anderson Silva loss: "Best thing that happened for me"

The specter of Anderson Silva is, in some ways, haunting Nate Marquardt.

"People are asking more about the fight coming up," Marquardt told ( during a day of interviews leading into his main-card middleweight fight at Saturday's UFC 95 event. "But I haven't talked to anyone who hasn't asked about a title shot."

That's the line Marquardt is walking. On one side, the eight-fight UFC veteran is continuing his 10-year career that made him a Japanese champion before leading him to a successful run in the U.S. On the other side is Silva, the daunting UFC champion who gave Marquardt his most notable, most motivating and most educational UFC bout in July 2007.

The focus on the present is sometimes skewed by a strong desire for another shot at the middleweight crown.

This week, though, Marquardt won't think much about "The Spider." His attention is on Wilson Gouveia (12-5 MMA, 6-2 UFC), whom he will meet at The O2 in London, England. Gouveia, after all, is a Brazilian who is difficult to study because he is dropping to 185 pounds for the first time.

Marquardt likes his chances. The Silva loss and a controversial split-decision defeat to Thales Leites this past summer at UFC 85 haven't hurt his confidence as one of the main middleweight contenders in the world.

"He's an all-around tough guy, but I think I match up well in all areas," said Marquardt (27-8-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), a Colorado resident, of Gouveia. "Actually, I think I'm better than him in all areas. I'm a better striker, quicker, faster, stronger, better on the ground, better wrestling, better endurance. I like the matchup."

A notable fight

Marquardt's career was already long and varied by the time he met Silva. His first professional fight was in April 1999, and by the early 2000s, he was a fixture in the Japanese circuit Pancrase.

His UFC debut was a unanimous decision victory against Ivan Salaverry at the original UFC Fight Night in August 2005. His next three UFC bouts were also victories, including two by decision, which provided the title shot against Silva on July 7, 2007.

Afterward, Marquardt would reflect and realize he allowed the mystique around Silva and the pace of the fight to move him off of his plan. Marquardt was successful in taking Silva to the mat, but the referee stood up the fight and changed the pace, favoring Silva.

"I didn't feel it should've been stood up," Marquardt said.

Before long, Silva landed a strong left, and Marquardt was overwhelmed. After a barrage of punches, the fight was stopped at the 4:50 mark of the first round, and Silva retained the UFC middleweight title.

"It's the best thing that happened for me," Marquardt said. "It forced me to change a few very important things, and it was definitely motivation to continue training hard, continue to improve myself in all areas. It made me stronger mentally, which was one of the keys."

Climbing again

Marquardt first took out his frustrations on Jeremy Horn, whom he submitted with a guillotine choke in the second round of UFC 81. Many still feel he might have won the Leites fight at UFC 85, but the split-decision loss fueled Marquardt into a TKO victory against Martin Kampmann at UFC 88.

Now Marquardt finds himself preparing for Gouveia, whose past seven fights have failed to reach the third round (he is 6-1 in that span). In December, Gouveia elbowed Jason MacDonald into submission at The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale, an appearance and victory that pushed him even more into the MMA consciousness.

Marquardt, meanwhile, has taken comfort from his performances since the loss to Silva.

"All of them solidified in my mind that I'm doing what I need to do to prepare for my fights," Marquardt said. "I've performed well, and I'm finding the technical things I have to fix. I have the right mindset, I'm training the right way and I belong there."
Feb 7, 2006
WEC signs Rafael Assuncao; fight with champ Mike Brown unlikely

World Extreme Cagefighting's loaded featherweight division just got a bit more crowded.

Rafael Assuncao, who has 10 stoppage victories among his 12 career pro victories, has signed a multi-fight deal with the WEC, his manager, Malki Kawa from First Round Management, today told (

As recently reported, Assuncao had been considering offers from the WEC and the upstart Bellator Fighting Championships, where he would have competed in BFC's eight-man featherweight tournament.

"(WEC matchmaker) Sean Shelby developed a relationship with Rafael," Kawa said. "At the end of the day, some people do things for money. Some people do it for prestige. Rafael did it because the WEC developed a solid relationship with him.

"(Bellator CEO) Bjorn Rebney is a great guy, and I think Bellator Fighting Championships is a wonderful organization. I think that promotion is going to be one of the big players at the end of the day. When it was all said and done, though, Rafael just felt comfortable with Sean Shelby and the WEC."

Assuncao, widely regarded as one of the division's top 10 or 15 fighters, joins a 145-pound division that features notables such as Mike Brown (the WEC's current title-holder), Urijah Faber, Leonard Garcia, Jose Aldo and IFL champion Wagnney Fabiano, among others.

However, should Assuncao establish himself in the division and should Brown defend his title, don't expect the two fighters to square off in the future.

"Hopefully, we'll get one or two fights against some solid competition and put ourselves in line to challenge for the title," Kawa said. "Rafael will be training with American Top Team, so he wouldn't want to challenge Mike Brown for the title. He hopes Mike continues to have a great run as champion, but if circumstances change at some point, he would definitely like to challenge for the title."

Assuncao, the brother of former UFC fighter Junior Assuncao, is expected to debut this spring (possibly at WEC 40 in Chicago), though Kawa could not confirm the date.

Assuncao, who had been under contract to the Kentucky-based American Fight League, recently requested and received his release from the AFL. The organization is in "a holding pattern" due to the recent economic downturn, AFL CEO B.J. Santiago recent said.

The 27-year-old is currently riding a four-fight winning streak and has earned submission wins over the UFC's Joe Lauzon as well as BFC's Jorge Masvidal. His lone career loss came to the WEC's Jeff Curran via decision in 2006.
Feb 7, 2006
Caol Uno's UFC return likely to come vs. Spencher Fisher at UFC 99

UFC 99 appears to have its first bout, and it marks the return of an early UFC legend to the organization.

A source close to the negotiations today told ( that former UFC lightweight contender and recent DREAM fighter Caol Uno (27-11-4 MMA, 3-3-1 UFC) will take on UFC veteran Spencer Fisher (22-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) at the June event.

Verbal agreements are in place, and the fight is expected to be finalized shortly, the source said.

UFC 99 takes place June 13 at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany.

Uno, 33, twice fought for UFC titles, but he came up short both times. In fact, his second attempt at winning a UFC belt ultimately forced the closing of an entire division.

Uno, a Shooto veteran who turned pro in 1996, first fought for the UFC 155-pound title (then dubbed the bantamweight title) in 2001, but he suffered a majority-decision loss to Jens Pulver. After going 3-1 in his next four fights, Uno then fought B.J. Penn in the finale of a four-man lightweight tournament that would crown the winner the organization's new lightweight champion (Pulver had been stripped of the belt after a contract dispute). Uno and Penn fought to a disappointing draw at UFC 41, and the UFC disbanded the division for the next three years.

Uno fought once more for the UFC before he headed overseas to compete for K-1 HERO'S, which has since become DREAM. Uno is 10-5-1 since he left the UFC more than five years ago.

As we reported after UFC 94, UFC President Dana White recently expressed his interest in a number of Japanese fighters, including Uno.

"Caol Uno, I love him," White said. "He'll always be a part of the UFC. We're talking to him."

Meanwhile, Fisher has been working his way back into title contention with three victories in his past four fights (all of which took place in the UFC). In June the 32-year-old defeated rising prospect Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision before topping Shannon Gugerty via third-round triangle choke at UFC 90 in Chicago.

Fisher hasn't fought since that October event and has been recovering from a minor surgery for an undisclosed injury.
Feb 7, 2006
Rory Markham plans on turning enemies to friends at UFC 95

It's been a wild ride for UFC welterweight Rory Markham (16-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC).

Eight months ago Markham was fighting in front of sparse crowd on the preliminary card of Adrenaline MMA's debut event in Chicago against a fighter with a record of 6-18.

One fight later -- one stunningly quick, "Knockout of the Night"-earning fight later -- Markham is heading just outside of Englishman Dan Hardy's (20-6 MMA, 1-0 UFC) hometown in preparation for a co-feature clash at "UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson."

"It is a quick rise, and I'm honored," Markham recently told ( "All I can do is stand back and know that I've got a job to do. If I can do my job appropriately and excitingly, I think that the UFC brass and the fans, most importantly, are going to really be the ones that benefit the most from the placement of this fight."

Both Markham and Hardy will be entering the octagon for the just the second time at Saturday's UFC 95 event in London. While many MMA observers expressed some surprise that the bout was placed ahead of Wilson Gouveia vs. Nate Marquardt and Demian Maia vs. Chael Sonnen, Markham believes he and Hardy will be able to address all concerns when the fists start to fly.

And while the O2 Arena crowd will undoubtedly be pro-Hardy, their hometown hero, Markham believes he will quickly sway them as well.

"I think that once the fight gets rolling my style is more of a crowd favorite," Markham said. "Once I go out there I know that overseas in England and Ireland they like a good scrap. I think once they see us going at it they're going to be a little less apt to root for their guy and instead root for the fight as its own entity."

If the fight goes anything like Markham's July 2008 UFC debut, the 26-year-old may be on to something. In that "UFC Fight Night 14: Silva vs. Irvin" bout, Markham weathered an early storm from fellow newcomer Brodie Farber en route to delivering a brutal high-kick knockout that earned the evening's "Knockout of the Night" bonus.

"One time when I was in the blender, I was just about to turn out," Markham said of the bout. "My hand dropped and [Farber] caught me completely flush on the chin when I was sitting down or flat-footed. That was the one time the bells went off and the room got a little white.

"Luckily for me I've been in those situations and positions before where I've been rocked in a fight. I've been dropped. I've seen a lot of it. If it were six fights prior to that, I might have been in a lot more trouble and the outcome would have been different.

"So what I did was I knew that instead of staying in there and continuing to trade and catch another stupid punch -- because you've only got about one or two more once you're 'in the room,' I call it -- I knew to circle. My experience told me, 'Alright, time to circle. Let him come into some of my strikes now. I need to create space.

"So I just followed the octagon, continued to circle, and threw a kick with every intention to throw it as hard as I possibly could in the sense that knowing even if he was to block this kick he was going to hurt his arms -- whatever it takes to give me my eight to 10 seconds that I need to get my wits back about me."

Instead of eight to 10 seconds, Markham earned the rest of the night off. It was the hard-hitting Markham's 11th knockout or TKO win in 16 career victories. It also ensured that the Miletich Fighting Systems fighter would not see the final bell for the 20th-straight bout to open his career.

Markham is expecting similar results Saturday night.

"I think that it's a really good fight for me," Markham said. "It's a fight that I picked and was able to take a lot of time on.

"I've definitely seen some holes in [Hardy's] game. I'm going to keep those to myself, but I think it's just a really great fight that at the very, very least is going to be an exciting matchup. Obviously he's got some good kicks, and he's got that traditional English background. There's a certain style to those mixed martial artists. I think that with my experience and my experienced camp I know the right recipe to win this fight."

In addition to his training at the famed Miletich camp, Markham has also been improving his wrestling skills with the cast of Overtime MMA in Naperville, Ill. Markham admits that even 20 fights into his MMA career he's still developing as a fighter.

"I'm completely in the developmental stages," Markham said. "I definitely over the next couple years am going to continue to work on my weaknesses.

"Now that I'm in the UFC, I'm very happy. They know what it is to be a fighter. They know what it takes to be a fighter. They know what it means for downtime. And our responsibility to ourselves and to our organization as fighters is to use that downtime appropriately and work on our weaknesses -- pretty much follow [George St. Pierre's] mold. He pretty much set the example. He works hard, and he's always constantly improving his game.

"I've sought some great coaches out and found the right recipe. MFS is always my home, and always the place I'm going to tie it together, but I've found some other guys to go out there and work on my holes and come backs as a better fighter, a more-improved version of my former self."

Markham made a stunning first impression with UFC fans, and he now has an even bigger stage on which to perform. The heavy-handed Iowa resident hopes to deliver another highlight-reel performance in front of a hostile crowd and continue his rapid rise in the awareness of UFC fans.

"My style really and truly is for [the fans]," Markham said. "More than anything, I'm a fan first. I've got my guys that I love watching. Every time I watch their fights, I get excited. That's something I want to give to my fans.

"All I can say is I hope to make a lot more fans, and I appreciate the UFC for giving me the opportunity to do that."
Feb 7, 2006

UFC 95 rolls into view on Feb. 21 at the O2 Arena in London. One fighter who is absolutely chomping at the bit is British welterweight standout Dan Hardy.

“I know this is going to sound like a cliché, but I am in much better shape now than ever before. I was in better shape a week ago than I was in my last fight against Akihiro Gono, and I thought I was in great condition for that one,” explains Hardy, adding that his camp has been more homegrown this time round.

“This is a back to the roots camp for me. I did a lot of my technical stuff in U.S. before Christmas, but I have been back here since the New Year, working solidly with Nathan 'Levo' Leverton on my jiu-jitsu, Owen Comrie on my Thai, and Oli Richardson on my conditioning. I feel fantastic.”

Hardy is riding high on a successful debut in the Octagon against the aforementioned Japanese opponent, but furthermore, he is coming into this bout off the back of nine wins (excluding a dodgy disqualification over in Japan) and faces an opponent who doesn’t seem to respect his stand-up power.

“I saw the comments he made about (me) not having any power in my hands, but that just makes me wonder what fights (of mine) he has been watching. I don’t have his kind of punching power, I will admit that, but he will have a shock if he thinks he will just shake my strikes off,” he laughs.

When taking a fight at this level, there are loads of elements that factor into a gameplan. As has just been mentioned, video analysis of previous fights, looking into your opponent’s training camp and stylistic tendencies – an area where Hardy and the Rough House team have been particularly successful in the past. So how does he see this fight going and what has the preparation entailed?

“We have analyzed everything we can find on Markham. He can land a decent punch, but he doesn’t seem that well rounded. He has no wrestling, no jiu-jitsu, and he isn’t that technical, but it seems to work for him, as he has never been to a decision. He seems to either KO someone or get KO’d himself. His style puts him in danger as he is always coming forward, but he doesn’t seem to have the chin for it.”

Fighting words indeed, but Hardy is aware that both are in the same place within the organization at the moment and is philosophical about how to apply his craft. “He is trying to lure me into his game, but I am not buying it. We know how to beat him and in the process of finding that out, he will get an answer to questions about my power.”

The final piece in replicating an opponent’s style is to ensure you can prepare for what they bring to the table. For this encounter, Hardy has been doing a lot of work with Paul Daley and Jim Wallhead. He picks up the tale, “We're missing a couple of guys out of the camp at the moment because they are out in America doing stuff, but one thing that has been great is having Paul back for sparring. We have normally gone our separate ways, but I can really see how much he has improved, very explosive, nice tight combinations, and with a naturally gifted knockout power in his hands. We don’t hold back much in sparring and I know Markham won’t be hitting me with anything like the shots Paul has. All you have to do is look at the guys Paul has been knocking out in comparison.

“The thing is, I am taking this fight a lot more seriously than Gono. Although that was a tricky fight, I am not sure how much Gono still wants things. With Markham, I know he will be hungry as we're both coming off wins in the UFC, we're of similar age and stand point in our respective careers,” he offers. With the UFC welterweight division being as stacked as it is, a run to the top of the division can take a long time, just ask Marcus Davis.

So what does he want to achieve this year?

“I want to rack up three solid wins, that’s my aim for this year. I am a realist; I don’t have title aspirations yet. Markham is a good start to the year for me. After that I want two more good solid wins and then to pick off someone close to Top 10 or break into it by the end of the year.”

Finally, with the hard work in the bag, and UFC 95 just round the corner, what does Hardy do between now and the bell ringing?

“Well it’s nice not having to travel. I will have massive home support, which will always give me a boost. But mostly it's about mental preparation and positive visual enforcement. I imagine the walk out to the cage, play the fight out in my mind, gameplan, techniques, and finally my opponent standing across the cage from me, looking through their eyes at what they will face.”
Feb 7, 2006
Blackburn Possibly Sidelined With Neck Injury

UFC welterweight Brad Blackburn suffered a neck injury in his fight with Ryo Chonan at UFC 92 and is awaiting an orthopedist's prognosis before giving the green light to fight again.

"Apparently, I have two bulging discs in my neck, and I guess I have arthritis too," he told MMAInsider.

Blackburn says a punch to the head caused his arm to go numb in the middle of the fight, and it's been bothering him ever since.

"I dropped my arm down and I was playing it off," he said. "Before that, I never had a problem with it."

Next week, Blackburn will find out whether he needs surgery for the bulging discs, or a minor "scope" for an arthritic growth on them. If the latter is diagnosed, he says he'll be ready to go in two months.

"They're gonna give me a fight right when I'm ready," he said.

For the mean time, he's training in anticipation of the lesser injury, and trying to work through the issue.
Feb 7, 2006
Fedor Emelianenko reportedly set to meet Dana White in June to discuss superfight with UFC champ Brock Lesnar

Yes, I will fight again on the next Affliction card. Besides this, me and my management hope to get a chance to talk to Dana White in person in June to discuss a possible fight between me and Brock (Lesnar).

–The last man to hold the Pride FC heavyweight title and current WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko (29-1) tells Adam Baker of that aside from competing in a third Affliction event (should one come to fruition) he plans to meet with UFC President Dana White sometime in June to discuss a possible superfight with current UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar (3-1). A lot would have to go right for this potential bout to happen. Lesnar is scheduled to rematch Frank Mir at UFC 98 on May 23 while “The Last Emperor” still has the same UFC-unfriendly hang-ups due to the remaining fight on his Affliction contract - along with being property of M-1 Global. Still, the mere possibility of them getting down inside the Octagon is enough to keep any fan optimistic.
Feb 7, 2006
Nick Thompson: To fight or not to fight, that is the question

Self admittedly, Nick “The Goat” Thompson has come a very long way in his mixed martial arts career since the days when he had to pay $10 just to get a scrap at his local bar. The powerful 170 pounder recently put together a twelve fight win streak against some of the sports toughest competition and is widely known as one of the best welterweights in the business.

Thompson has plenty of reasons to be proud of his accomplishments in mixed martial arts and he currently has a very good reason to be proud of what he has been able to accomplish outside of the sport. Thompson’s most recent victory came as far away from the ring as one could imagine.

Thompson recently passed the Minnesota state bar exam and a career in law is inevitable once he decides he has accomplished all that he could in the game. The question for Thompson at this point in his career is when to make that formal crossover which would most likely include his departure from the sport that he has grown to love.

In an exclusive interview with, Thompson admitted that even he doesn’t hold the answer to how long he will continue to fight with a promising career in law staring him right in his face. The answer to that question may very well lie in how successful or unsuccessful he is at Sengoku’s upcoming welterweight tournament.

Will the tournament be the last time we see the one that is known as “The Goat’ in action or will it just be the turning of a page in the distinguished career of Thompson? Time will tell.

Thompson will make those decisions when that time comes but for now he has his tunnel vision and all he can see is Paul Daley. The two have a date with destiny when they face off on February 20 at “MFC 20: Destined for Greatness.” Which of the talented welterweights will truly be destined for greatness will be determined by the bouts outcome in what will surely be an action filled contest between two of the divisions most dangerous competitors.

Cory Brady: Congratulations on passing the Minnesota state bar exam. That’s an amazing accomplishment. When did you decide that you wanted to pursue a career in law?

Nick Thompson: I have a BA in philosophy and think law is philosophy’s practical application. It seemed like a natural progression once I finished college.

Cory Brady: Which specific area of law do you plan on practicing in?

Nick Thompson: I enjoy tax, contracts and sports law. If I were to represent fighters and other athletes, it would allow me to practice all three areas. That would be ideal.

Cory Brady: Do you have plans to leave fighting for law anytime soon or do you see yourself fighting for many years to come?

Nick Thompson: After the Shields loss, I pondered moving to other areas. I sacrifice a lot in order to be at my best in mixed martial arts and I do not know how much longer I am willing to make those sacrifices. Sengoku has a welterweight tournament later this year and my future plans may turn on the outcome of my performance there.

Cory Brady: This is going to be your second fight in as many months. Do you have plans to stay busy in 2009?

Nick Thompson: I find it easier to train when I have a concrete goal. I want to fight as often as possible. I would fight 12 times a year if I could.

Cory Brady: How are you feeling physically heading into your fight with Paul Daley?

Nick Thompson: Despite being really disappointed in my performance on CBS, it was a god send as far as training. I don’t know what has gotten into me but I am tearing it up in the practice room. Hopefully that will carry over into the ring.

Cory Brady: Who are some of the key people that have been helping you to prepare for this one?

Nick Thompson: Sean Sherk, Derrick Noble, Jacob Volkman and Nik Lentz have been my main training partners. Nat McIntyre and Greg Nelson have been my primary coaches.

Cory Brady: What are some of the areas you have been focusing on in the gym since your bout with Jake Shields?

Nick Thompson: Not getting choked.

Cory Brady: How do you feel you match up with Daley?

Nick Thompson: Paul is scary on the feet but I feel like I should be able to hold my own with him there. If I can make the stand-up portion of the fight competitive, I think it will be easier to get it to the ground where I believe I have a distinct advantage.

Cory Brady: What do you think will be some of your key advantages over Daley?

Nick Thompson: I think my ability to utilize my jiu-jitsu and wrestling will determine whether I succeed in this fight.

Cory Brady: Are you going to be looking to get this fight to the ground as soon as possible or will you be confident trading with Daley?

Nick Thompson: I am going to try and stand but everyone says that until they get hit. Once I am hit, we will see what happens.

Cory Brady: When I spoke with Daley recently, he was quick to point out your win over Eddie Alvarez who is very similar to him in size and style somewhat. Do your wins over guys like Neer, Alvarez and Weir give you a certain level of confidence going into this fight with Daley?

Nick Thompson: It is nice to know that you have beaten guys who are at your opponents level but come fight time, those wins won’t do anything for me. I have to show up and be at my best or else I will be sorely disappointed in the result.

Cory Brady: Not looking past Paul Daley at all but would you like to have another fight with Jake Shields at some point down the road?

Nick Thompson: Yes. My goal is to improve until I am the better fighter. I won’t know if I have reached that goal unless I earn another fight with Jake.

Cory Brady: Everyone knows the story as to how you got your nickname but you definitely don’t have the same problem that you used to. Would you attribute that to developing a stronger chin or to not getting hit as much?

Nick Thompson: Both. I am more used to getting hit and also more knowledgeable about how to avoid being hit.

Cory Brady: I have to tell you, I’m a huge fan of the neck beard. Have you had enough time to establish a good neck beard for this upcoming fight or will you opt to go with the balding old man haircut?

Nick Thompson: No. I probably will come in clean cut. Sorry to disappoint.

Cory Brady: Is there anyone that you would like to thank?

Nick Thompson: As always, I would like to thank everyone at MMAA. I would also like to thank TapouT, MMA Warehouse, Gamma-O and Calio shoes for supporting me.
Feb 7, 2006
MMAadnet Making Moves in MMA Media Market

Friend of Sam Caplan did a piece a while back on the Ad Networks and their impact on the MMA media. Sam did a good job of laying out the various pitfalls associated with the process. One group is moving to fill the void to better serve the MMA media market. MMA World Holdings Inc. has created MMA Advertising Network (MMAAN), which is an advertising network that is integrated into websites that focus on the sport of MMA. MMA Advertising Network currently averages over 3 million impressions per month, with an average monthly growth rate of 32%. MMA Ad Net deliver unique and popular websites that have been ranked in the top 10 of all MMA websites, but also include individual fighter websites.

The concept looks to maximize itself buy have three main constituencies. The three main drivers for MMA Ad Net are Advertisers, Promotions, and Website owners. The main selling point for advertisers is a targeted audience that is leveraged over a network of MMA-related sites. Promoters are able to more closely target those they wish to get out to their events. Website owners are able to generate more traffic for their site as well as provide a a better value when bringing advertisers to their own site.

The folks at MMA Ad Net look to be gaining some traction with the MMA audience, as some of the high profile sites like Fiveouncesofpain and Fightlinker have signed on with the service. Affiliates like 5oz etc get the benefit of 75% of the revenue, non exclusive advertising, the ability to put your ads on the network at no charge, and they get a firm that is focused on selling ads for fighters. MMA Ad Net is becoming an attractive option for webmasters looking to better monetize their sites.
Feb 7, 2006
MFC Profiles Jervis Cole

In following the writings of my co-worker Kelsey Philpott with Maximum Fighting Championship, I’ve had the pleasure of reading the work of Rhett Butler on the MFC website. He has an article up on Jervis Cole, who is making moves in the industry as a rep for light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans, as well as others such as Karo Parysian, and Nate Marquardt. Cole elaborates on his entry into MMA as well as his strategy for his fighters:

“I was with a company called Zinkin Entertainment. They had Chuck and Forrest and a lot of other notable MMA fighters. What I was doing for Chuck Liddell was handling pretty much the marketing, assisting with all media, travel; pretty much everything Chuck did, the majority, went through myself. All contract negotiations, final contract negotiations was handled by the company, but most of the negotiations were initiated through myself and we were just able to get a lot of stuff accomplished with Zinkin finishing up, I was getting things started and handling the day-to-day with Chuck.”

“What we are doing is trying to get guys a TV show, print ad’s, movies; we’re trying to get that done. We are looking at Fortune 500 companies as possible sponsors and the people that I work with are assisting us with those deals. What we are looking at for our fighter’s are something outside the box. We want to try to increase their value and notoriety outside of the ring. Try to get them different events, try to get them guys into areas that you would normally see a fighter in unless it’s a big name guy.”

Butler’s work serves as an excellent primer on some of the the behind the scenes players in the industry. I would also recommend the pieces on Ed Soares and Robert Roveta for the uninitiated.
Feb 7, 2006
To get titleshot, Machida cheers for Jardine

At UFC 86, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson had his belt pulled by Forrest Griffin in a unanimous – and controversy - decision. Returning from defeat with an impressive knockout on Wanderlei Silva, Rampage is one step closer to a titleshot, but one Brazilian is directly interested in the result of this fight. Undefeated after 14 fights in his career, six in the UFC, Lyoto Machida knocked Thiago Silva out in UFC 94, but must cheer for Keith Jardine’s victory against Quinton before in order to face the champion, Rashad Evans.

"I'm cheering for Jardine, but I think that Quinton is stronger, hits harder... I think Quinton is the favorite. I think I’ll have to wait a bit more", recognizes the fighter, who expects to make another fight over this period. "I could do one more fight, but only if they (UFC) give me a good opponent, a man with strong name. I don’t want to go down again. All that the UFC putted, I always joined, but now is time for me to start to ask a bit too".

"I'm waiting Quinton’s fight, but I’m not worried. Everyone was saying that, if I win (Thiago Silva), I’d fight for the belt, but it didn’t happen, but I’m not worried about that. Imagine if I were thinking about the next fight and lose this one? It's the same thing now, I'm here, solving some things and I'm already thinking about returning to Belém and practice my base for, then, start to worry about my next battle, either by title or not", said a confident Machida: "I just need to make good fights and it will happen…When I get there, it will be just party".

About the knockout against Thiago Silva, Lyoto celebrates his first knockout in the UFC. "We changed some things in the training, we started to get better opportunities for fights. My training is very technical. I’ve changed many things and it gave a positive result", celebrates the fighter, who couldn’t meet with the athlete of ATT after the fight. "I couldn’t talk to Thiago after the fight, I would like praise him. This is a professional thing, it’s not to be upset with each other... The fight happens in the octagon, and then it ends", concludes.
Feb 7, 2006
André Dida vs. Buakaw at K-1 World Max

After impressing the Japanese with a great striking at Hero’s GP in 2007, when lost to Gesias Cavancante in the final, André “Dida” Amade was rumored some times to fight in K-1. In 2008, the athlete was invited to fight Buakaw Por Pramuk, but an injury scratched him from the fight. Back on trainings, Dida finally will make his debut under K-1 rules. The former Chute Boxe athlete faces the two times K-1 champion Buakaw Por Pramuk at April 21st, at K-1 World Max, and wants to make a good debut.

“They wanted to put me against a tough guy at K-1 and I wanna do a great fight. I’m very happy with this opportunity and I’ll get a good win. I’m training hard for that. My brother (Maurício “Véio”) is training me and setting a strategy to call Cosmo Alexandre, one of the best Mauy Thai fighters from Brazil and has a similar game plan to Buakaw, to help us”, said Dida, revealing the strategy for the fight. “He has a great game with his legs, but not as good with the hands, so my tactic will be work on my hands to annul his kicks and try a good result. I have my chances of winning this fight and I believe it’ll be very interesting”.

Living at Canada, André revealed that he’s opening a training center with his brother (Evolução Thai) and left Universidade da Luta team. We left UDL but it was cool. Shogun (Rua), Ninja (Rua) and all the guys from the team still are our friends, and Shogun will came here before his next fight. We decided to open this team, inside BJJ Toronto training center, because we weren’t close to UDL anymore. This was the only reason, because the team is full of great athletes, because we teach a Muay Thai focused to MMA, not the traditional one”.
Feb 7, 2006
40 Fedor Exclusive Fedor, we want to start out by saying its an Honor speaking with you, and thank you for taking the time to speak to me. What have you been up to since your Win at Affliction 2, against Arlovski?

Fedor Emelianenko: Well, when I came back from the USA I almost immediately had to start working on the movieproject I’m in. The movie is called the fifth element. Besides this I am training for a Sambo fight in March. How did that fight go for you? Do you feel Anderi was getting the better of you standing up?

Fedor Emelianenko: No, I don’t. Arlovski is a very good striker but if you watch the fight closely you can see he didn’t hit me that much. I did not feel in trouble at any moment. Your team said you did not properly train for that fight. Is that correct? Was it a concern for you going into this fight ?

Fedor Emelianenko: Because of the filmproject I didn’t have the time to train as I usually do for a fight but it was enough to get in shape and get focussed. It wasn’t a concern because I felt strong and was confident in an good outcome. Once again, you are the WAMMA HW champion - How does it feel to wear the WAMMA belt once again?

Fedor Emelianenko: It felt great of course. I think that the opponents I fought were all good challengers for the WAMMA title. Do you know who you will be fighting next? Josh Barnett? Your manager hinted at Vitor Belfort ?

Fedor Emelianenko: I don’t know yet. I have much respect for both Josh and Vitor. Will you be fighting on the next affliction Card? Is there been any talks of you fighting Brock Lesnar?

Fedor Emelianenko: Yes, I will fight again on the next affliction card. Besides this me and my management hope to get a chance to talk to Dana White in person in June to discuss a possible fight between me and Brock. (Fan Question) What are your thoughts on the WAMMA belt and WAMMA system?

Fedor Emelianenko: I think the WAMMA is a professional organization, I also like the system. (Russian Fan Question) Back in Pride days, can you remember 1 moment with Josh Barnett and Wanderlei Silva that stands out in your mind?

Fedor Emelianenko: With Josh I have very good memories. We sometimes partied after a fight back in the Pride days together with my trainers. I remember Wanderlei mostly for his fights in the ring. I think he was a great sensation in the ring. (Croatian Fan Question) Fedor, we have a young Croatian here that would like to ask you something: “Hi Fedor, it’s honor speaking with you. Was there any time back in Pride that you and Mirko spent time together, or had some fun? Was Mirko hard to get along with”

Fedor Emelianenko: I never spend time with Mirko outside the ring. We both respected each other. It’s about time we would do something together. Fedor, out of all the fights you have had, who Punches the hardest, who Kicks the hardest, and who was the best wrestler?

Fedor Emelianenko: Well Fujita is the only one who ever hit me right, and he hit hard! But I can’t really make a good comparison with the other guys. Fedor, what was your thoughts of kiril sidelnikov’s fight?

Fedor Emelianenko: I think Kirill did a good job, he is only 21 and needs to learn much more. Buentello is a very experienced fighter and was the smarter fighter. But the next time Kirill must listen better to his corner.., Fedor, we thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us today. We wish you the best of luck. God Bless
Feb 7, 2006
Mirko CROCOP - Back To Training

Mirko CROCOP Filipovic has released a statement for the first time since his post-opperation report, and he stated he is back to light training and thinks the opperation went well. Read on!

Mirko Crocop spoke with, and we broke down the translation to give you tid-bits of what the interview consisted of.

Thanks to: RedCop

When asked what Mirko has been up to, and if he was back to training:

Mirko said he trains as much as he can in the gym with strength training with weights and conditioning with coach Jukić.

When asked where he will fight next, Mirko had some interesting things to say about DREAM, UFC and even Affliction.

When talking about who he will be fighting with next, he mentioned DREAM and the UFC, however he ended a answer with:

and possibly another American organization

Possibly Affliction?
Feb 7, 2006
Marcello Garcia In DREAM GP?! Busy 2009

American Top Team coach Ricardo Liborio tells

“There’s a good chance. Nothing’s in ink yet, but there really is a good chance Marcelo will be in the GP,”

It seems like Garcia will have a busy 2009, Liborio elaborates:

“There’s a chance he’ll be in everything out there this year. Marcelo is hard focused on MMA, but if it happens to come at a time when he has nothing lined up, there’s a good chance he’ll be in the ADCC too. He’s been training a lot of muay thai and wrestling and is good all around,” the ATT coach said.

The DREAM Welterweight GP could be a GP of expert grapplers as Shinya Aoki is already confirmed, and Andre Galvao and Marcello Garcia are close to participation.

Marcello Garcia defeated Shinya Aoki at ADCC 2005.