UFC Strikeforce

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.

 

Dana_Kid1

(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.

 

 

Georges "Rush" St-Pierre is eager to get back into action inside the Octagon against UFC interim champ Carlos Condit.  But before he can return to reclaim his undisputed title, his knee will have to be at 100 percent.  GSP hurt his knee back in October, which put another monkey wrench into an already convoluted title story line.  At first GSP was supposed to face Nick Diaz, but then Diaz failed to show up at a press conference, which prompted the UFC to scratch Nick from the fight.  Carlos Condit, who was supposed to fight BJ Penn on the same card, was moved into the title shot instead.  But then GSP hurt his knee, which left Condit without a fight.  Eventually, Diaz fought Condit to determine the interim champion, with Condit winning by decision.   Condit now awaits the return of GSP to unify the titles.

By his own account GSP's rehab is coming along ahead of schedule.  He used the same doctor who performed a similar operation on the NFL's Tom Brady, and said that he feels he'll be back to training this summer.  I assume that GSP is keeping at shape at home using his own RUSHFIT Ultimate Home Fitness MMA exercise program.

GSP is a very determined athlete, and I am sure he'll try to beat the predictions on when he can return to fighting.  However, he needs to take care not to re-injure the knee by pushing too hard too quickly.  Another injury could sideline him long enough so that rust would be a factor in the fight, and it would totally muddle the UFC welterweight picture.

Still, it's great news to hear that Rush is fit and getting back to fighting form ahead of schedule.  He is one of the big draws in the UFC, and one of it's all time great fighters.  We wish him well on his continued recovery.

 

Frankie Edgar would still be the reigning UFC LW champ if Dana White was a judge.  He had the fight even going into the fifth round, and thought Frankie won the fifth.  Pretty hard to argue with that logic, as Frankie did land more punches and had more takedowns.  It is true that Ben Henderson fought a great fight, and he won the decision, but there is a saying that to be the champion you must beat the champion--and many folks did not see Bendo doing enough to win the crown.

I thought Frankie did enough to retain his title, but I try not to second guess judges.  What I can say is that the UFC ought to heed Edgar's call for an immediate rematch and have these two go at it one more time. Frankie Edgar deserves that much, and so do the fans.  It was a great fight, so let's do it again!

 

Long Island is going to make yet another appearance on the TUF house.  Dennis Bermudez, who trains out of LIMMA, went to the finale last season, and now Al Iaquinta, the Long Island MMA standout will be joining the cast for this season's show, which is going to be broadcast live for the first time.

The 32 fighters for the TUF House were chosen from a field of more than 500 fighters.  The show begins on March 9 at 9PM EST.

Iaquinta is a great fighter and a very entertaining individual.  He's makes a great addition to the cast, and I would not be surprised to see him go all the way.

Here is the list of the fighters on the TUF House.  Congrats to Al Iaquinta and everyone who made the cut!

Akbarh Arreloa, Chula Vista, Calif.

Al Iaquinta, Wantagh, N.Y.

Ali Maclean, Belfast, North Ireland

Andy Ogle, Tynemouth, England

Austin Lyons, Cordova, Tenn.

Brendan Weafer, New York, N.Y.

Chris Tickle, Bloomington, Ill.

Cody Pfister, Amarillo, Texas

Cristiano Marcello, Curitiba, Brazil

Chase Hackett, Littleton, Colo.

Chris Saunders, Long Beach, Calif.

Dakota Cochrane, Omaha, Neb.

Daron Cruickshank, Wayne, Mich.

Drew Dober, Omaha, Neb.

Erin Beach, San Diego, Calif.

James Krause, Blue Springs, Mich.

James Vick, Fort Worth, Texas

Jared Carlsten, Los Angeles, Calif.

Jeff Smith, Mechanicsburg, Penn.

Jeremy Larsen, Phoenix, Ariz.

Joe Proctor, Pembroke, Mass.

John Cofer, Hull, Ga.

Johnavan Vistante, Pearl City, Hawaii

Jon Tuck, Hagtna, Guam

Jordan Rinaldi, Matthews, N.C.

Justin Lawrence, Villa Ridge, Mo.

Mark Glover, Liverpool, England

Michael Chiesa, Spokane Valley, Wash.

Myles Jury, San Diego, Calif.

Mike Rio, Miami, Fla.

Sam Sicilia, Spokane Valley, Wash.

Vinc Pichel, Sherman Oaks, Calif.


UFC_Japan_newspaper

The Japanese love their MMA, and someone put together an outstanding "manga" video ahead of the UFC in Japan show.  This is classic stuff.  Also, check out this neat Japanese newspaper article announcing the UFC's return to Japan.

Here is the video:

Check out this hot promo for the upcoming Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey showdown coming up in March.  Tate is the Strikeforce female bantamweight champ and Rousey wants her belt.  Two very talented fighters who also happen to be smoking hot babes.  Life is good!

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