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Archive for May 2012


Rich Franklin steps into UFC 147 headliner against Wanderlei Silva

Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva II is set.

UFC officials today announced that Franklin (28-6 MMA, 13-5 UFC) has replaced injured Vitor Belfort (21-9 MMA, 10-5 UFC) and now meets Silva (34-11-1 MMA, 4-6 UFC) in the 190-pound-catchweight headliner of next month's UFC 147 event, which is scheduled for five rounds.

Belfort scratched from the card this past week due to a hand injury.

UFC 147 takes place June 23 at the 25,000-seat indoor arena "Mineirinho" (Estadio Jornalista Felipe Drumond) in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The night's main card airs on pay-per-view, and FX is expected to carry the prelims.

Franklin and Silva first fought at UFC 99, where Franklin picked up a unanimous-decision victory via 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 scores. Franklin had been scheduled to fight Cung Le (7-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at July's UFC 148 event. There's no word on his possible replacement.

Silva and Belfort currently serve as coaches on "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil," the first international edition of the UFC's long-running reality series. Their coach-vs.-coach was intended to wrap up the season.

Following a 1-5 skid that concluded with the loss to Franklin, Silva since has won two of three fights. He first topped Michael Bisping via close decision before a knockout loss to Chris Leben at UFC 132. However, the Brazilian legend and former PRIDE great rebounded in November with a second-round TKO of Le at UFC 139. The Le victory earned him a $70,000 "Fight of the Night" bonus.

Franklin, meanwhile, fights for the first time in more than a year. The former UFC middleweight champ, who had recently been competing at light heavyweight, has been sidelined with injuries since a February 2011 loss to Forrest Griffin. Franklin was expected to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira this past August, but a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery forced him to withdraw from the matchup. He's 4-3 in his past seven fights.

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Shane Carwin Cleared for Contact, Targeting Return Fight in Early Fall

Shane Carwin, the bruising former UFC interim heavyweight champion, is officially on the comeback trail.

Following a lengthy recovery from back surgery, Carwin, 37, announced Wednesday he was cleared for contact and issued a request for UFC officials to slot him into a fight later this year.

"I informed UFC Matchmaker (Joe Silva) that I would like to fight in early fall 2012," Carwin wrote on his website. "I would like to be able to fight every three or four months. Barring injury I intend to leave the UFC octagon and head back to the Grudge Training Center to continue the climb."

Carwin's (12-2) improbable rise to UFC stardom saw the former collegiate standout shoot up the heavyweight ranks on the strength of a violent string of first-round knockouts, culminating in a brutal victory over Frank Mir to win the UFC interim heavyweight strap.

In an effort to unify the belts, Carwin nearly defeated reigning champion Brock Lesnar, before gassing out in the second round and submitting to an arm-triangle choke. Following an extended recovery from neck surgery, the American dropped a decision to Junior dos Santos in a heavyweight title eliminator at UFC 131, and has yet to compete since the loss.

"I have spent my entire career dealing with injuries sustained through football," Carwin concluded. "I am 100% and I feel like a younger version of my former self. The UFC should look into adding some padding in the gloves because I plan on crushing my opponents."

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Dana White on PEDs, Jon Jones, and Nick Diaz

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Dominick Cruz Discusses His Injury, TUF Experience, and the Future

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Sam Sicilia Explains How TUF Live Subjected Him to First Dose of Real MMA Coaching

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MMA Veteran Cristiano Marcello Recalls Good and Bad of TUF Experience

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Jon Jones had two female passengers in his car when he crashed it into a telegraph pole earlier this month, according to various sources.

Jones was arrested on May 19 for Driving Under the Influence after a 5am crash in the state of New York. He has since entered a guilty plea to the charge and is awaiting sentence.

“Binghamton PD has confirmed there were two passengers in car with Jon Jones when he hit a pole on May 19. Jones pleaded guilty to DWI yest[erday],” tweets Sports Illustrated journalist Loretta Hunt. “I don't know the identities of two passengers yet. Working on it.”

But eleven days ago, later in the same day that the accident occurred on, a local resident had filmed the pole that Jones crashed into and had mentioned in the accompanying video description on YouTube that there were two female passengers. He also noted that Jones had a bloody nose from the crash.

"Jones was arrested for DWI and the 2 females in the car with him were taken to the hospital with facial injuries. Bones suffered a bloody nose when his airbag deployed and wasn't seriously hurt. His Bentley was totaled," the text reads.

"This video was taken approximately 8 hours after the accident and well after the Bentley was towed away. The voices you hear are people asking me if this is where the accident happened."

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Wanderlei On Belfort Withdrawal: "I’m pissed"

Wanderlei Silva in an interview with TATAME.

Silva comments on Belfort’s withdrawal from the UFC 147 main event.

Belfort was forced to withdraw due to a hand injury and Wanderlei is less than impressed with his countryman.

“(Fighting me) with one hand (laughs)? We are professionals. It’s a great irresponsibility not to be careful on training, a great disrespect towards the fans. I’m really sad. I’m ready to knock you out, you have nowhere to run. This fight is happening. I guess you got scared of me. Nobody trains so hard that breaks his hand. We use the best equipments, gloves, bandages”

“If you were scared, you shouldn’t have accepted it. If you really got it broken, it’s amateurism and if you didn’t, you’re scared. In both scenarios, it was irresponsible of you towards the fans. Pardon the word, but I’m pissed with your amateurism. A main event on the biggest event of the world and the guy shows up like that.”

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Strikeforce's Cormier welcomes fights with Emelianenko, Kharitonov, Rizzo or Sylvia

Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion Daniel Cormier is far too beaten up to dwell on his future at this moment.

Five grueling rounds with Josh Barnett earlier this month at "Strikeforce: Heavyweight Grand Prix Final" left him with a broken right hand (his third in eight months), a split eyelid that winked to the press in red, and the biggest win of his brief fight career.

"It's not that day when you get up and go out and go to a family barbeque," Cormier told MMAjunkie Radio  of the aftermath following the tourney finals, which took place May 19 in San Jose, Calif. "I was laying in bed. I was crying to my mom. I felt like a 4-year-old."

Strikeforce owes broadcast partner Showtime another Cormier (10-0 MMA, 6-0 SF) fight before the end of the year. A medical suspension could keep him out six months, though a doctor can clear him before that. Following hand surgery, a PR rep told MMAjunkie the fighter is likely to return in the fall.

Many say Cormier is a shoo-in for a move to the UFC and perhaps an immediate title shot. He isn't yet joining that chorus, but he does have a greater sense of what's possible inside the cage.

"I didn't know if I could do it; I'm not going to lie," he said. "But once I got in the tournament, I had to believe in myself."

A Strikeforce tournament alternate in an eight-man field that included four former champs, Cormier, a longtime wrestler and fourth-place finisher at the 2004 Olympics, was seen as a long shot when he replaced Alistair Overeem in the semifinals. A knockout win over Antonio Silva this past September opened more eyes (and broke that right hand). But not until his systematic shutdown of Barnett, a former UFC champ ranked in most top-10 lists, did he cement status as one of the world's best heavyweights and a threat to octagon dwellers everywhere.

"It's been a crazy ride for a year and two months," Cormier said.

Finding the new champ's next opponent could be a tougher task than concluding the oft-delayed grand prix. Prior to the finals, Cormier and Barnett were the only heavyweights officially in Strikeforce, which has seen its roster drained by parent promotion UFC.

"This is the biggest problem," Cormier said. "I don't know how they're going to convince someone to do it. It's going to have to be someone from the outside."

It could, however, be an opponent from Strikeforce's past. Cormier said he gladly would fight Fedor Emelianenko, whom Silva knocked out in the tourney quarterfinals. However, contract negotiations wouldn't likely get far.

"That would be awesome," he said. "Won't happen, though."

Also awesome would be Pedro Rizzo, who's scheduled to fight Emelianenko in June. Or Sergei Kharitonov, who was submitted by Barnett in the semifinals.

"I saw him walk down Overeem and slump him over the ring ropes," Cormier said of Kharitonov. "That would be a great fight. I would fight Kharitonov."

It could be ex-UFC champ Tim Sylvia, who's been campaigning for another chance in the big show.

"No problem at all fighting him," Cormier said. "Any time you can get a win over a guy that held that belt, it's so prestigious."

Off the table is Todd Duffee, whom Cormier trains with at American Kickboxing Academy and who recently earned a first-round knockout with the India-based Super Fight League.

"I don't want to fight Todd," he said.

For now, though, matchmaking is not his problem. Healing up is his next fight.



Source: MMAJunkie

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Big Nog on Brazilian Dancing with the Stars

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