UFC Strikeforce

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Urijah Faber, who fights in the UFC's 135 pound division, is the Sir Edmund Hillary of MMA.  In this photo by the inimitable Tracy Lee, Faber climbs atop two massive meat mountains--because they were there.

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Congratulations to former UFC champion Matt "The Terror" Serra, who was promoted to Brazilian jiu-jitsu 3rd Dan Black Belt by Renzo Gracie.  Matt is well known for his colorful personality and exciting fighting style, and he's always ready to help with charitable causes around Long Island.  He also trains many up and coming fighters, including title contender Chris Weidman.  Well done, Matt Serra!

 

Hitman Dan Diaz, founder of Hitman Fight Gear has filed a lawsuit against TapouT clothing in the Superior Court of California in Orange County.  Diaz alleges a whole slew of wrongdoing from TapouT and specifically Dan Caldwell aka Punkass of the TapouT crew.  The official complaint is very long and written in legalize, and you can read it here:  Dan Diaz Official Complaint.

To sum up (thanks to Rob Maysey for putting it in simple terms), the gist of the lawsuit is this:

TapOut execs artificially reduced the true sales price of TapOut by taking disguised payments to themselves personally that weren't included in the purchase price for TapOut;

TapOut artificially increased the costs of goods sold--for 2 reasons:

1. To reduce the amount of royalties payable to third party licensees (i.e. fighters); and

2. To obtain "kickback" payments from vendors to themselves personally, in the form of expensive gifts, cash payments, and the like.

This would serve the purpose of showing TapOut on the "books" as much less profitable than it actually was, since a select few were diverting TapOut revenues to themselves, personally.

The UFC principles, Dana, Lorenzo and Frank--had/have an ownership interest in Tapout--allegedly at least 11%.

The UFC principles were instrumental in TapOut obtaining a TV show.

Interestingly, this lawsuit has gotten almost no attention from the MMA media, probably because of the possible ownership of the TapouT by the UFC.  But if these allegations are true, the bottom line is that TapouT basically stole money from fighters, because those fighters did not get all the money they'd earned due to machinations by TapouT.  That's pretty pathetic, and the story deserves far more attention that it has received.

I'll be keeping on eye on this developing story and will keep you all updated.

Rampage Jackson has never been one to mince words. He has not been happy with his recent opponents in the UFC because he feels all the guys he is given to fight are wrestlers who want to "hump" him. Which is why he feels that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva "needs to be slapped in the face."

This bold statement from the colorful MMA legend came during a phone conversation with HDNet's Bas Rutten. You can really feel Rampage's frustration during the call, which I have for you after the jump. Rampage likes to bang, and he likes opponents that feel the same way, but the fact is that wrestlers are dominating the UFC, which sometimes makes for less than exciting fights. The Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis "grapplefuck" is a good example.

In the conversation with Bas, Rampage also talks openly and honestly about his use of testosterone. He'd made a statement previously that he was on TRT, but Dana White later said that Rampage had backed off the statement. In the Bas interview, Rampage says that he is not backing off, and is on TRT.

Very wide ranging and interesting interview with one of the sports most exciting fighters. Check it out.

Thirty two fighters fought last night in Las Vegas for a chance to enter the TUF House on this season's The Ultimate Fighter.  In a format depature, the fighters only had a single five minute round to make the statement that they deserved inclusion on the show.  Al Iaquinta, from Wantagh, Long Island, a talented up and coming fighter who we've profiled here in the past, shined in his bout against Jon Tuck, winning by unanimous decision and moving into the Sweet Sixteen.

There are a lot of very talented fighters on this season's show, but I think that Iaquinta, out of the Serra-Longo camp, has a very good shot at winning it all.  We'll track his progress right here as he advances throughout the season.

After his win, Iaquinta said:

"I worked really hard to get here and I'm happy and relieved to get the victory."

Here are the complete results of the fights last night.

What a difference a week makes.  Ben Henderson won the UFC LW championship by decisioning Frankie Edgar on February 26, then a week later he entered a grappling tournament in Arizona, and lost by armbar.  Still, pretty amazing to see Bendo compete just a week after a grueling five round war.  This guy is badass!

(Thiago Silva)

Swedish fight Alexander Gustafsson has been tearing up the UFC LHW division recently, and he is often mentioned as a contender for Jon Jones's title. Gustafsson is scheduled to fight next month, and originally his opponent was supposed to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, aka Lil Nog.  However, Nogueira suffered a knee injury in training, and will be replaced by Thiago Silva.

This was first reported by the Swedish MMA site StudioMMA.com.

For Silva, this is a tough comeback fight.  If you recall, Silva was suspended after beating Brandon Vera in January, 2011, due to providing a false urine sample for the post-fight drug test.  His win was changed to a no-contest, and he sat out the rest of the year.  He was supposed to rematch Vera, but that fight was scratched when Vera got hurt, so now he'll replace Lil Nog against Gustafsson.

This is a great test for the Gustafsson, and if he looks impressive against Silva, he will definitely be in line for a title shot against Jones.  I think Gustafsson has all the tools to succeed in the UFC, and he is one of the very few fighters to tall enough to present some problems for Jones reach-wise.  The Swede is developing very well in the UFC, and it's going to be a great fight next month.

(Alexander Gustafsson)

Who knew that Chael Sonnen had a soft side?  The UFC's top trash-talker dropped the tough guy act and nearly cried during his heartfelt apology to Anderson Silva.  This will stir your heartstrings.  Check out the video.

 

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(Dana White before he started acting like a spoiled brat.)

Dana White is butthurt and he wants the world to know it.  The UFC president was in talks with Showtime about the network allowing him more input into the Strikeforce production, and things were going so well that White was actually excited about the Tate vs. Rousey fight and might attend the event.  But then he got sat down by Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza, who decided that he didn't need the Baldfather's input and could run things fine by himself, thank you very much.  And suddenly, he lost all interest in the fight--like a kid taking his ball and going home.

Dana said of the situation:

“These guys are letting a D-level producer run their organization, and that’s exactly what I told Espinoza.  You want to let a D-level producer run your organization? Go for it brother. Knock yourself out. I’ve got shit to do. I’ve got another job.”

Which means that Dana White is done with Strikeforce. Because Showtime is done with him.

 

 

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