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Author: Michael Zand


VIDEO: Bellator 67 Highlights

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Lyoto Machida Would Have Taken Middleweight Bout To Stay Busy

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida had another shot at the title at UFC 140 against Jon Jones, but got choked out in the second round. Four months later he was still waiting for another fight and was apparently starting to get antsy. He was recently booked against TUF 9 winner Ryan Bader at UFC on Fox 4 on August 4th but before that, he just wanted to fight. He was relieved by the Bader booking, and told Globo he was even willing to take a middleweight bout just to stay active (translation via Orcus):

I was ready to fight but the opportunity was not there. The division is lacking, it’s a bit mixed, and I didn’t know, right (who would be my next opponent)? I even had the intention of fighting at 185lbs so I wouldn’t lose the opportunity of keeping busy. I spoke to Ed Soares and (Jorge Guimarães), but they told me to be patient.

Look, I’m a guy that usually weighs at most 96kg (211lbs), so I don’t think there would be a problem fighting (at middleweight). My objective is to fight at (205lbs), but to make a fight at middleweight would not be a problem.

Obviously his friend and teammate Anderson Silva is the UFC middleweight champion though, so that seems like a Black House conflict of interest. Machida explains:

Anderson is a comrade of mine, a friend in my team. (Middleweight) is his, but I would take a fight to keep me busy. The important thing is to keep fighting, it’s the adrenaline. I would like to fight there, but only with the objective of keeping me busy.

I know Machida says that 185 is Anderson's, but Silva is 37 and could possibly retire not long from now. A middleweight Lyoto Machida is an enticing thought, and it's interesting that he believes he could make the cut. It's probably not something that's going to happen anytime soon, but would you like to see Machida at middleweight?

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UFC On Fox 4 Fight Card Shaping Up

UFC on Fox 4 is looking pretty good already, and only four fights have been nailed down for the card so far. The event takes place on August 4th in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. It hasn't been decided what the main event will be, but the biggest bout announced so far is a light heavyweight battle between former champion Lyoto Machida and Ultimate Fighter 9 winner Ryan Bader. In addition to that, former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard will make his UFC debut against Brian Stann, and two UFC 146 heavyweight winner will face off when Travis Browne meets Ben Rothwell.

Here's how the early card looks right now.

Aug 4th, live on Fox from Los Angeles, CA:


Ryan Bader (14-2) vs. Lyoto Machida (17-3)

Hector Lombard (31-2-1, 1 NC) vs. Brian Stann (12-4)

Travis Browne (13-0-1) vs. Ben Rothwell (32-8)

Terry Etim (15-4) vs. Joe Lauzon (21-7)


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UFC 146: Frank Mir: "I hit a lot harder than junior dos santos"

Exactly one year ago current heavyweight number one contender Frank Mir was preparing to face Roy “Big Country” Nelson at UFC 130 on Memorial Day Weekend. Nelson was just coming off a brutal beat down at the hands of reigning champion Junior dos Santos while Mir’s last fight was a KO of Mirko Cro Cop.

In a pre-fight interview for the bout against Nelson at UFC 130, Mir claims he is bigger, quicker and in a surprising statement, claims he hits harder than dos Santos. Coincidentally, roughly one year after making the initial comments, Mir is scheduled to challenge dos Santos for the UFC heavyweight championship at UFC 146 on May 26. Watch Video

“I’m a lot bigger than (Junior) Dos Santos and I hit a lot harder. I’m a taller, longer athlete … quicker; I’ll constantly pepper him with shots when he comes in and make him pay when I do hit him with something. When I hit Cheick Kongo, the punch alone threw him halfway across the Octagon. On the night of the fight, neither one of us are going to pull any punches. If I catch him with something, I’ll try to hurt him with it.”

Mir has scored three career (T)KO wins opposed to dos Santos’ 10 career (T)KO victories. Will the former heavyweight champion try to stand with dos Santos and utilize what he considers a speed and power advantage to take the champion from the belt on the feet? Or will Mir be less confident in his striking come fight time?


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Super Fight League 3 live & free Sunday 9:15 am ET

Super Fight League 3
IGI Stadium
New Delhi, India
3 May 2012
18.45 Indian Standard Time (IST)

SFL 3 streams live and free, right here on The Underground Sunday morning at 9:15 am ET.

"SFL 3 stands to be the best so far," says founder Raj Kundra. "We're hosting SFL 3 in one of India's best indoor stadiums - the IGI in New Delhi with a 10,000 capacity. We have a fantastic main event with SFL 1 champion James Thomson vs. Bob Lashley so tune in to see the action!"

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(Video Contest) Become Bob Sapp's Cornerman at CFC Australia May

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When the UFC was forced to move the much-anticipated Anderson Silva versus Chael Sonnen rematch from Rio to Las Vegas, there was a small sense of relief for UFC president Dana White.

The relief was that he did not have to smuggle Sonnen back into Brazil. More importantly, White and the UFC now do not have to work on a major contingency plan if Sonnen lifts the title in Vegas. Had he beat Silva in Brazil, then the safety of Sonnen might have become an issue as he has talked thrash about the country, its people and its fighters for years now.

Speaking to the media following the UFC on Fox 3 press conference at the Beacon Theatre on Thursday, White said that getting Sonnen in and out of Brazil for press obligations was somewhat of a headache. Getting him out in one piece from a stadium, packed with 80,000 Brazilians would have involved some heavy security.

“It's not fun taking Chael to Brazil,” said White.

“I'm not a big fan of that. I was actually very confident [that we could] do the big stadium, we could pull this thing off and bring Chael down there, but I didn't think Chael was going to say the type of s**t that he would say down there.”

White, of course was referring to the press conference last week in Brazil where it was announced that the fight would be relocated to Las Vegas instead of Engenhao Stadium in Rio. At the conference, Sonnen was relentless in his condemnation of Silva and Brazil, which stunned White.

“It's one thing when you are sitting in your living room in America and you say crazy s**t like that, but I can tell you, that was one of the most surreal press conferences I've ever been in.”

And what of Sonnen's safety had he won the rematch in Brazil? White sounded a little relieved that he did not have to think about that anymore.

“Yeah, I mean that would have been it too. I always joked about it, saying we would have to dig a tunnel under the Octagon to get him out of there, but now, I'm starting to believe it. He's crazy.”

A United Nations event, which coincided with the UFC's original plans for the event meant that they had to switch the fight to Vegas, but before they switched the fight to the US, the organisation did try everything in their power to keep it in Brazil.

“It's not like we said 'F**k it, let's not do this fight in Brazil, let's do it in Vegas.'

“That was not the case. The thing fell apart. We tried Sao Paolo, we tried to do it in Rio, but it didn't work.

“We still got Vitor Belfort versus Wanderlei Silva and the The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil card. People wanted to see him (Chael) fight in Brazil, he wanted to fight in Brazil, but it didn't work out. We couldn't make it happen.”

Despite this, White said that the UFC will one-day do a stadium show in Brazil.

“We will do a stadium show in Brazil. If you look at how fast that market has grown and moved, it's moving like lightning over there so we have a lot of work to do.”

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UFC president to address fighter behavior at upcoming summit

Concerns recently voiced by UFC sponsor Anheuser-Busch over the behavior of fighters has prompted Dana White to address the issue at a fighter summit to take place in the next month.

"Same stuff that all the other organizations go through," White said following Thursday's pre-UFC on FOX 3 press conference. "NBA, NFL – they all go through the same thing."

At the heart of White's upcoming talk with fighters: Getting them to use common sense.

"There's only so many characters on Twitter, and you can't explain the context in which you sent the text," he said. "You just have to use common sense."

That skill has seemingly been lacking in several highly publicized incidents in which fighters have used sexist or homophobic language in public and over social media.

Anheuser-Busch, which owns the Bud Light and Bud Light Lime brands prominently advertised in the UFC, raised several of them in a warning issued this past week to the promoter. The brewer said it would take action if fighters continued to use offensive language in the public domain.

Major sports franchises such as the NBA and NFL have written guidelines on the use of Twitter, and both professional and college athletes have been suspended and/or fined for misbehaving on the social media site.

White downplayed the severity of Anheuser-Busch's warning, but said he took seriously the task of keeping fighters in check.

"It is absolutely something that needs to be addressed, so we're pulling together another fighter summit, bringing guys in and talking to them," he said.

At the same time, he said some comments made by fighters have been blown out of proportion. Told of UFC welterweight Josh Koscheck's repeated use of the word "retard" during an open workout on Wednesday – he used the term to describe those in the MMA media – White broke out in laughter.

"One thing you guys have got to understand: This is the fight business, and most of our guys are educated," White said. "These guys all went to college. Stuff is going to happen. Things are going to slip out. It happens, and I have to deal with it when it happens.

"I've done it. I'm not going to sit up here and act like Mr. Holier Than Thou. It's one of those things you have to handle after it happens."

Indeed, White has grappled with anti-UFC critics who've targeted his behavior as an example of why the promotion is unfit for children.

That, however, wasn't the problem with sponsors, he said.

"Listen, if you ever watched the sport, you knew what you were getting into with me," White said. "It's not like I all of a sudden lost my mind and started saying stupid [expletive]. I've been doing it for 11 years."

Despite several brushes with controversy, White remains a staunch advocate of the social media that's frequently been at the root of things, particularly when it comes to the language he uses.

"I like being open and honest," he said. "I love having a personal relationship with the fans. I love that our athletes do. I like it to be real.

"I tell people to [expletive] off on Twitter all the time, and some people think that's weird. But if a guy came over to me right now and said, 'Hey, I think you're a dickhead, and your organization sucks,' I'm going to go, '[Expletive] you.' What's the difference between that and Twitter? If you say stupid things to me on Twitter, I'm going to say stupid [expletive] back to you.

"If you have a problem with it, you know what the solution is? Don't follow me on Twitter."

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Dana White: Penn declined Strikeforce's Melendez but wants UFC return at 170 pounds

NEW YORK – So it turns out there was something to those rumblings of Gilbert Melendez (20-2 MMA, 10-1 SF) vs. B.J. Penn (16-8-2 MMA, 12-7-2 UFC) for the Strikeforce lightweight title, after all.

Following today's pre-UFC on FOX 3 press conference in New York City, White revealed he tried to put the fight together but was rebuffed by Penn, ultimately leading to Melendez vs. Josh Thomson III on May 19.

White said Penn simply wasn't up for a fight at that time, though things have since changed. The UFC boss said Penn could be back sooner rather than later, and it will be at 170 pounds.

"I tried to do [Melendez vs. Penn], but it was at the time when B.J. was like, 'Yeah, I'm not fighting for a while,'" White said.

"In October, former UFC champion Penn suffered a one-sided loss to Nick Diaz, prompting "The Prodigy" to call it quits at the conclusion of the fight. Penn has yet to publicly commit to another fight, but as he did less than two weeks ago, White insists things are different behind the scenes.

"He wants to come back," White said of Penn.

While most MMA pundits believe Penn, who has held titles at both 155 pounds and 170 pounds, is best suited for the lightweight division, White said Penn will make his return at welterweight.

"I'm done with telling him where to go as far as weight goes," White said. "The guy's handled himself in both weight divisions, and if he wants to come back at 170 – plus you get to an age where cutting down to 155 just doesn't make sense anymore."

When that return could happen is still anyone's guess, but the UFC boss said Penn will ultimately make that call. In a sport where mental focus and commitment is often as important as physical preparation, White said he refuses to rush anyone back to action until he's 100 percent certain it's the right time.

"Whenever he's ready," White said. "That's up to him. Whenever he's ready. I don't ever push guys. Guys know when they're ready. Guys know when they want to come back.

"This isn't a sport where you can just say, 'I know your head isn't in it right now, but get back over here and fight.' This isn't that kind of sport. Guys let me know when they're ready to fight."

Meanwhile, Melendez's next chance at fighting a UFC athlete doesn't appear any closer. With the relationship between White and Strikeforce's broadcast partners at Showtime nearly nonexistent, he's less-than-optimistic that a peaceful coexistence will provide for any cross-promotional opportunities.

"Gilbert Melendez is a Strikeforce fighter," White said. "He's been great in dealing with it. He wants to come over here, and he wants to challenge himself against the best, and I know a lot of other people want to see it, too, but he's in that Strikeforce deal.

"The thing that sucks for Gilbert and that's disappointing is that I was 100 percent fired up and gung ho to go over there and work on Strikeforce. The whole thing fell apart. I know he's bummed out about, and other people are, too, but it is what it is. It just didn't work out."

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Mayweather vs. Cotto weigh-in

Live Video streaming by Ustream

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