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Author: Michael Zand


M1-Global Challenge: Aleksander Emelianenko wins by TKO

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UFC 145: Jones vs Evans Extended Preview

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Rashad Evans Reveals Game Plan for Jon Jones at UFC 145

Forget about the complicated X’s and O’s that tend to come out of Greg Jackson’s famed academy, Rashad Evans (Pictured) believes it will be all about dropping vicious blows when he challenges light heavyweight king Jon Jones at UFC 145.

“I know I will beat Jon Jones,” Evans matter-of-factly stated in a press release. “He can talk about improvements he’s made, but there are still some things in his game he can never change. He’s a long, rangy fighter and I’m going to get inside, unleash my stuff, take him down and ground-and-pound him.

“I’m at a level in my career where I can take down and ground-and-pound anyone.”

Although Evans left Jackson’s team over a year believing they favored Jones over him, “Suga” was in Albuquerque, New Mexico long enough to learn the ins and outs of the gym and its philosophies.

While his split with Jackson was far from amicable, Evans has since joined the Blackzilians and believes his new squad provides the breath of fresh air needed to lead him back down championship lane.

“I know all about [Jones], all about his coaches and all about his camp,” Evans expressed. “I could probably tell you what he’s doing in the gym right now. He’s in the exact same environment doing the exact same things with the exact same people. But I’m in a different environment, I knew I had to learn, had to mix things up and I had to change. Jon has no idea what I will do on the night.

“I’ve got the advantage mentally, too. He’s not ‘Jon Jones unbeatable champion’ to me. I know the real Jon, the nervous kid who would ask me to tell him how to dress, how to talk and how to fight. I know how he reacts when things don’t go his way, how he can’t handle it mentally.”

The archenemies will have the opportunity to settle their difference April 21st inside Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Jones: I can't wait to put Rashad out of his misery just interviewed Lightheavyweight champion Jon Jones, who talks about his plans for Rashad Evans, who is attempting to get back the title, after the two 'divorced' last year as Rashad left Jackson's MMA.

"Jealousy fuels Rashad, to some degree," said Jones." I think it's safe to say, ya absolutely, absolutely safe to say. I think it's very weak emotionally on his part. That's why I can't wait for this fight to be over. I have no problem with him. Right now, I have my kids, I have my girl, we have our place together, I'm following my dreams, I'm doing the right things in life, I'm on the right track.

"Rashad is the one who looks at this whole story like, this guy's went off and created his own team and he's left the people who were there for him in the beginning. He's the one who is going through this whirlwind in life right now. And I just can't wait to put him out of his misery, and solidify me being the light heavyweight champion, and then telling him to go have a seat somewhere.

"I'm a completely different fighter since the time he held me down in practice. It's just night and day. He's truly picking a fight with my past. I think when he gets out there he's going to realize there's different combinations,  there's different size and strength, there's a whole different kid out there that he's against.

"To finish this fight is one of my goals for 2012, whether it is by knockout or submission, I'm not going to put a title on it. I realize when people are struggling for knockouts, that's when you don't get a knockout. If you are looking for a submission the whole time, that's when you don't get a submission.

"So I'm going to go out there and have fun. I'm going to play the game that I love so much, and that I've dedicated my whole life to.

"And whether me or Rashad become friends again in the future, only God knows. One thing that is inevitable is respect. Once you go out there and put it on the line, there will be respect.

"And I can't wait to have his respect."


View entire video...

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Rashad vs Jones bitter twitter battle takes a twist

Rashad Evans ‏ @SugaRashadEvans

Damn! Jon Jones is always trying 2 one up me! I take a pic with a wig on & he goes full drag on me! Fine bro


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Positive Signs Point to UFC Events in Italy, Spain and France in Near Future


Mar 15, 2012 - The UFC will continue its European expansion next month when the promotion makes its debut in Stockholm, Sweden for UFC on FUEL TV 2.

And according to UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, the organization hopes to debut in a few more European countries by the end of next year.

"I think Italy will be next," Fertitta said. "Me and Lawrence [Epstein, the UFC's general counsel] went out to Italy and met with the owners. There's really only one venue in Italy that makes sense for us. There's an arena right outside of Milan, it's owned by a family, and once again, they had these misconceptions about what this was. 'Oh my gosh, you're going to have these guys get in there and fight in a cage,' and all this other stuff. But we went out there, sat down with them, explained who we were, what our background was, safety, regulation, all those things. [We] invited them to the fight in Birmingham [for UFC 138], and they were blown away. They said, 'You guys are welcome any time you want.'

"So I get an e-mail from Lawrence earlier this week. They're having a fight later this month; they've already sold 15,000 tickets."

That event, the first for the upstart promotion Oktagon, will take place on March 24 at the Forum Assago di Milano and will be headlined by Valentijn Overeem vs. Michael Kita.

"The thing that was encouraging to me was I didn't really know where the sport was in that market yet," Fertitta added. "I didn't know how developed it was. We just did a deal with Sky Sports there about six months ago and the ratings have been really good. It's all working. So I think by next year we could go there and do something."

In addition to Italy, Fertitta was optimistic that the UFC could hold an event in Spain for the first time, sooner rather than later.

"We just launched in Spain on a major market where we launched The Ultimate Fighter, and I just got an e-mail this morning, ratings continue to go up. I think we're doing well over 250,000 viewers, which is a big number for that market given the population. So that's another market that we'll be looking to go to pretty soon."

And after spending a considerable amount of time trying to penetrate the French market, Fertitta believes the organization is finally making progress in that region.

"France is a massive opportunity," he said. "[The] Sports Ministry is definitely positive on the issues. The issue is a little bit different because here in the United States, the government actually regulates the sport and they have an entity that regulates it. In a lot of these other countries, it's different. They are more in tune with the Olympic style of regulating things where you have a federation. So they're fine with it, as long as there is a federation put in place to oversee the rules and regulations. 

"So a federation has been established, so it's just a matter of getting it recognized by the Sports Ministry, which we actually have met with, and they have been very positive. David Douillet [France's Sports Minister] is an ex-Olympic Gold Medalist in judo, so he understands the sport. We're very enoucraged that you'll be eating croissants watching the UFC pretty soon."

Thus far, the UFC has held 14 events in Europe: 11 in the United Kingdom, two in Germany and one in Ireland.

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UFC's Marc Ratner wants 'international federation' to regulate events



Source: MMAjunkie

by Steven Marrocco on Mar 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm ET

Thus far, regulators haven't been able to keep up with the UFC's aggressive international expansion.

Events in Canada, Australia and –next month – Sweden, are regulated by an independent regulatory body. But in places where no athletic commission exists, the promotion has taken that role for events in the U.K., Brazil and Japan.

UFC vice president of regulatory affairs Mark Ratner would like to see a single agency take the lead in regulating international events, overseeing officials, conducting drug tests and enforcing the unified rules of MMA. He said the promotion is pushing for an "international federation" to do the job.

"We'd like to get it over to France, and someday to Brazil and to Italy, so we have one set of rules, one set of medical standards," "That's our long-term goal. We do need a worldwide federation."

France, Italy and Spain are among the international destinations the promotion is actively targeting for future shows. A return to Abu Dhabi is also on the radar, Ratner said, though an exact date is unknown.

There were seven international events on the UFC's calendar in 2010 and six in 2011. The promotion is on track to top those numbers this year with six events already in the books or scheduled. In addition to live events, international editions of the UFC's flagship reality show "The Ultimate Fighter" are now underway with filming underway in Brazil and an "Australia vs. U.K." season in the works. Executives hope eventually to create a grand-prix tournament of international "TUF" contestants.

So demand is there for officials beyond U.S. borders.

"We want to keep growing the sport," Ratner said. "The reason we self-regulate is that there's no commissions in certain countries, so in order to grow the sport, we have to put them on.

"But I would just as soon have an independent body regulating these fights."

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Bellator 61 Moment - Brian Rogers KOs Vitor Vianna

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Super Fight League video stream from Mumbai, India

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Dana White: We'll probably end up with Hector Lombard

It appears a fight may be brewing over Middleweight Hector Lombard, who has not lost a fight in nearly six years, and is currently under contract with Bellator.

UFC President Dana White .

"I guess he's pretty popular down here. I've been hearing all about him since I've been here. I hear he's under contract though with someone else, so we''ll see. I'll probably end up with him. If he wants to fight in the UFC, then we'll probably end up with him."

Bellator Chairman/CEO Bjorn Rebney

"Hector remains our champion right now. We are in the midst of a pretty substantial negotiation relative to his future with the organization. I've said many times I think he's the best middleweight in mixed martial arts so it's not an easy negotiation by any stretch of the imagination.

"We've got the right to match on any deal. We're either gonna sign him before he goes out the to marketplace or he's going to go out to the marketplace and we're gonna have a determination as to whether we're gonna match or not match and we're gonna see where it ends up. I

"love the guy and he's an awesome talent. He's been nothing but a pure pleasure for me to work with. He's been a great guy for me to work with and he's done everything we've asked him to do and every time I've put him in a cage, he's knocked people silly. You can't really ask for more than that from a guy."

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