Tag Archive for ‘when

Chael Sonnen fires back at Chuck Liddell following Bellator callout: ‘Say when’

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, who also rests comfortably in the promotion’s hall of fame, is contemplating a return to mixed martial arts (MMA) under the Bellator banner on Spike TV.

Depending on this.

While Bellator boss Scott Coker is more interested in using the melting “Iceman” as a promotional tool, considering the former Dancing with the Stars contestant turns 48 in December, Liddell (21-8) has other plans.

Like snapping his three-fight losing streak.

Unfortunately, he hasn’t competed in over seven years, so he might need a tune-up fight before taking on anyone of merit. In Liddell’s mind, former UFC stablemate Chael Sonnen fits the bill.

See those comments here.

Sonnen (29-15-1) has already registered two fights for Bellator and sits at 1-1. After getting submitted by Tito Ortiz back in January, “The American Gangster” turned away Wanderlei Silva last June.

Anyone interested in seeing these two throw down?

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Scott Coker: Bellator will build to more PPVs ‘when the time is right’

If you thought Bellator 180 event was going to be the final pay-per-view appearance for Bellator MMA, guess again.

At a Tuesday press conference in New York City promoting the June 24 event, both Bellator CEO Scott Coker and Spike TV president for sports and specials Jon Slusser indicated pay-per-view events will be an intrinsic part of the Viacom-owned company’s future plans.

“This is a new line of business for us, this is the first of many that we will be doing,” Slusser said. “Scott did not put together a single card and hopes that it works or see if it works. This is a new revenue stream for us and it will allow us in time to continue to build up Bellator.”

Under Coker’s watch, Bellator moved away from the previous regime’s schedule of weekly fight events and built more toward semi-annual major basic cable events. The June 24 MSG card will be the first PPV event under Coker and the second in the company’s history.

And while the company has no plans as of now to mimic the UFC’s approach of monthly pay-per-view card, Coker said to expect more PPV events when big fights present themselves.

“We’re not going to do monthly pay-per-view just to do pay-per-views,” Coker said. “We’re going to build up to big fights more like the boxing model, and when the time is right, we’ll do the big, big fights. So when we put the big events together, like we have on June 24, then we’ll do it on a PPV event.”

Four fights have been announced for the Bellator 180, which is headlined by Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva. Coker indicated a fifth and final bout for the PPV portion of the event should be announced within the next week.

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Jon Jones: It’s easy for other light heayweights to talk crap ‘when daddy ain’t home’

Sometimes Jon Jones‘ tweets can be as sharp as his elbows.

The UFC interim light heavyweight champion took aim at fellow light heavyweights Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson in a series of tweets Wednesday night. Jones said even though he is currently inactive while dealing with doping suspension, he remains “more relevant” than any other 205-pounder.

“Can’t wait to get back and slap one of these light heavyweights, even on the sidelines I’m more relevant than anyone in that division,” Jones tweeted.

Jones

Cormier, the light heavyweight champion, will defend the title against Johnson in the main event of UFC 206 on Dec. 10 in Toronto. The two men were on a media tour of Canada this week and spoke a bit about Jones, which might have prompted “Bones” to fire back.

“You boys know when we all retire you will just be known as one of my contenders, easy for y’all to talk that shit when daddy ain’t home,” Jones wrote.

Jones, still regarded as perhaps the best pound-for-pound fighter of all time, took particular umbrage with something Johnson said in an interview with Canadian outlet TSN.

“When people ask me about Jon, they ask me, ‘What’s going on with that guy?’” Johnson said. “They don’t ask me about his athletic ability anymore, and his greatness inside the cage. They talk about his problems outside the cage. Nobody is perfect. We’ve all had our problems outside the cage, but his are just amazing.”

Jones referenced Johnson’s history of domestic violence issues, including pleading no contest in 2009 to domestic abuse charges, in a tweet Wednesday night.

“And AJ you calling my out of the cage problems amazing is almost hysterical,” Jones wrote. “Trying to shit on me doesn’t make you look anymore like a saint.”

Jones

Jones, 29, failed an out-of-competition drug test prior to UFC 200 in July and was pulled out of his fight with Cormier on the card just three days out of the event. Jones tested positive for the banned substances clomiphene and letrozol, which are anti-estrogen agents. He is facing a one-year suspension from USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner, and will have arbitration Oct. 31. Jones’ date in front of the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC), which also has jurisdiction in the case, will likely come in November.

Jones owns a unanimous decision win over Cormier in January 2015. He has never faced Johnson, but was supposed to in May 2015 before Jones was arrested on a felony hit-and-run charge. He was given a conditional discharge with 18 months probation in that case back in September 2015 and violated probation in April, but has not faced any jail time.

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GLORY heavyweight champ Rico Verhoeven on Alistair Overeem: ‘When he gets punched back, he doesn’t like it’

Rico Verhoeven doesn’t see a showdown with Alistair Overeem inside the kickboxing ring as a can’t-miss, high-profile tilt.

When The MMA Hour host Ariel Helwani proposed the idea to the GLORY kickboxing heavyweight champ on Monday’s edition of the show, Verhoeven snuffed out any enthusiasm in a flash.

“Yeah, it [a fight with Overeem] would be something, but I don’t really think it would be a [full stadium] fight, you know?” Verhoeven said. “He’s an MMA fighter. He’s not a kickboxer.”

According to Verhoeven, Overeem – who last competed in kickboxing in 2010, winning the K-1 World Grand Prix – intelligently ended his career on a high note. While his 10-4 record was largely contested against a who’s who of competitors, Overeem’s success was coming to an end.

“The moment that people felt his style, he started losing,” Verhoeven said. “For me, I think he jumped to MMA right in time. Remy [Bonjasky] beat him. Badr [Hari] beat him. He’s an MMA fighter. He’s not a kickboxer. That’s what I saw from his fights, especially when everything goes according to the rules.

“When he gets punched back, he doesn’t like it. And I’ve trained with Alistair as well. He’s a good guy, but kickboxing is different than MMA. That’s my vision on that.”

Despite this opinion, Verhoeven doesn’t believe Overeem jumped ship to MMA because times were tough – and getting tougher inside the kickboxing ring. Overeem had long competed in both sports simultaneously, but his full-time commitment to the steel cage was a career choice, not a necessity.

“No, no, [he] definitely [didn't run to MMA],” Verhoeven said. “His deal with the UFC was great, of course. I think it was the right time because he definitely would’ve gotten beat more. More good kickboxers just stood up. If he’d have fought a guy like [Daniel] Ghita, I think he’d have his hands full.”

If, however, Verhoeven would change his tune and entertain a fight with “The Reem,” he’s supremely confident in his chances. The GLORY champion has seen Overeem compete dozens of times as a kickboxer and as an MMA fighter, and he believes he’d have the upper hand in a potential matchup.

“If he’d fight a guy like me, he’d have his hands full,” Verhoeven said. “Maybe not back then [when Overeem was competing in kickboxing] because I was still a puppy, I was still a baby, but if we fight now, it’s a whole different ballgame.”

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Ronda Rousey to Floyd Mayweather: ‘When he learns to read and write, he can text me’

Score this round 10-9 for Ronda Rousey.

On Wednesday, Rousey, the UFC women’s bantamweight champion, fired back at Floyd Mayweather for comments the champion boxer made disparaging the purse splits between the two fighters.

“It’s kind of funny, people bring up pay to me a lot,” Rousey said to TMZ. “I don’t know if you saw the Floyd thing. He said, ‘when you make $ 300 million in a night, then you can give me a call.’ And I actually did the math, and given the numbers of my last fight, I’m actually the highest paid UFC fighter, and I’m a woman.

“I think I actually make two to three times more than he does per second. So when he learns to read and write, he can text me.”

The verbal salvo marked the latest chapter of the continuing public spat between Rousey and Mayweather, both of whom are considered to be among the most dominant athletes in their respective sports.

After winning the ESPY for Fighter of the Year in July, Rousey pointed to Mayweather’s troubled history of domestic violence, quipping, “I wonder how Floyd feels being beaten by a woman for once.”

The statement drew a response from Mayweather several weeks later on SportsCenter.

“I’ve yet to see any MMA fighter, or other boxer, make over $ 300 million in 36 minutes,” Mayweather said. “When she can do that, then call me.”

Both Rousey (12-0) and Mayweather (48-0) are undefeated in their professional fighting careers. Mayweather shattered the record for fighter purses this past May when he defeated Manny Pacquiao in an anticlimactic match that became the highest-selling pay-per-view of all-time.

Rousey, meanwhile, has proven to be one of the biggest stars the UFC has seen since Brock Lesnar.

Her 34-second knockout of Bethe Correia at UFC 190 drew unexpectedly huge pay-per-view interest despite being supported by a relatively weak undercard. Combined, her last three fights have ended in just 64 seconds, leading her to poke at the dollar-per-second figures splits between her and Mayweather.

“I’m just a little bit more efficient,” Rousey said, smiling.

Rousey is next scheduled to defend her title against Holly Holm on Jan. 2 at UFC 195, while Mayweather meets Andre Berto on Sept. 12 in Las Vegas.

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UFC 184 Embedded, Episode 1: ‘When you make her mad, she kicks you in the head’

Ronda Rousey, Cat Zingano, Raquel Pennington and Holly Holm get ready for fight week at UFC 184. Rousey plays World of Warcraft on a day off, Pennington gets a massage, and Holm and Zingano train for Saturday’s event.

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Cain Velasquez dismisses UFC 180’s interim title: ‘When I have my chance to fight, we’ll fight for the real one’

MEXICO CITY — It goes without saying, but fight week at UFC 180 hasn’t exactly been the festive experience Cain Velasquez expected when he first signed his contract to headline the UFC’s grand entry into Mexico. The sidelined heavyweight champion, who was once the lynchpin of the event, is now just an unfortunate side note, forced to hobble around on crutches while Fabricio Werdum and The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America cast soak in the party.

“(I’m) just very disappointed in general,” Velasquez admitted on Thursday. “Definitely disappointed. It’s one of my dreams to fight here, and not being to do it, it sucks.

“It’s kind of bittersweet. I want to be here for the guys that I helped in the show. I want to be here for them and I want to see them succeed. But not being a part of it (is tough). I mean, I always pictured them being here and me being part of it also.”

A torn MCL and meniscus in his knee forced Velasquez off UFC 180 less than a month away from fight night — a turn of events he acknowledged as “devastating” earlier this week. Velasquez is still unclear about a timetable for his return, but UFC President Dana White appeared to set a deadline on Thursday, stating that if the UFC’s heavyweight champion is unfit to fight by the time March 2015 rolls around, Velasquez may be stripped of his title.

Injuries have continually plagued Velasquez over the course of his almost two-year reign, and while he’s been nothing short of dominant in his two title defenses, Velasquez’s inability to stay healthy has largely brought the heavyweight division to a standstill. March will mark the seventeenth month between Velasquez’s fights, so considering White’s ultimatum, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the winner of UFC 180′s main event may ultimately be crowned the true UFC heavyweight champion — although that’s a notion that Velasquez brusquely dismisses.

“It’s the interim belt, you know,” Velasquez said. “It’s the interim belt. We’re going to fight for the real one coming up. So I don’t think too much into it. When I have my chance to fight, we’ll fight for the real one.

“That’s how I view it,” Velasquez added, “because it’s the interim belt. Interim belt, interim champion. Not the champion.”

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Anderson Silva: ‘When I realized my leg was broken, I thought my career was over’

Less than 10 months after his title bid against Chris Weidman ended in a ghastly scene, former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva sat perched upon a stage on a Tuesday afternoon in Rio de Janeiro, his tortured screams and mangled leg replaced by a seemingly endless cascade of easy smiles and even a sampling of his best Whitney Houston falsetto.

The memories of that night at UFC 168 will always linger for Silva, when a checked leg kick led to the shattering of his left fibula and tibia — as gruesome an end to a celebrated dynasty as could be written — but for now Silva’s story continues. With surgery and rehabilitation nearly behind him, the 39-year-old intends to return in early 2015, fighting in a blockbuster fight against Stockton’s favorite son, Nick Diaz.

And in truth, it’s a moment that Silva once believed would never come.

“I play around because I have to play around,” Silva acknowledged through a translator. “But it’s something I don’t like to remember too much. I went through the worst month of my life. It was a lot of pain the moment when I broke my leg. When I realized my leg was broken, I thought my career was over. So a million things went through my mind.

“You might think that depression is not something serious, but I was depressed. I was very upset, and if I didn’t have the people that I have by my side, maybe I wouldn’t come back.”

Tuesday’s Silva was a far different man from the placid figure we’ve seen appear under the hot lights of press events. That checklist of stock non-answers had vanished; instead the former champion was introspective, and above all, honest when confronted by his demons of the past year, revealing that the moment which struck him most throughout the whole process was the day he first limped into his California home.

“I couldn’t fly, I couldn’t be on the airplane because of the pressure on my leg,” Silva remembered, “and when I got off the bus … my kids were there. Little Joao was there, and the first thing he said was: ‘Daddy, everything is good. We love you.’ That was the most [emotional] moment. I never imagined that I would arrive home with my leg broken and see all my family there in that situation.”

Over the months since, Silva has slowly worked with his team of doctors and coaches to rebuild both his mind and body, reacquainting himself with lessons he first learned long ago. He acknowledged that although the process has been trying, the reality of his situation has forced him to reflect back on the mistakes he made both personally and technically as his record-setting title run stretched into its eighth year, and that the patience and personal growth he has undergone since has led him into a “new phase” of his life.

“If things didn’t happen in the timeframe he wanted, he wouldn’t get unmotivated,” said Dr. Marcio Tannure, the UFC physician who assisted Silva the night of his injury. “And he surprised all of us. He recovered very, very quickly and he surprised all of us. But you have to understand that you can’t just look at the injury.

“With Anderson’s injury, you’ve got to separate the human being from the athlete. You’ve got to worry about him as a regular person. For him to come back, you have to understand that he’s been away for a year, so this return has to be gradual, a little bit slower, for the muscles and the tendons to be able to support him, for the bones to be able to support him, and mainly for him to overcome any mental block. Anyone who goes through that was going to have some fear, and I think it’s something that you’re only going to get (past) in training everyday. He’s asked me if he’s going to be able to kick and I tell him that, yes, he’s only going to believe that he can kick when he kicks.”

In that regard, Silva said that very little of his athletic ability has been lost due to the injury, and that he is able to execute all old movements throughout his current training sessions.

“Right after I got injured and I recuperated and I started kicking, I didn’t have a lot of strength,” Silva explained. “I lost some strength in my leg, which is normal, but now I’m recuperating and I’m working specific work to recuperate my strength in my leg. Everyday that goes by, I’m going back to my origins and being able to kick without any fear, and I believe that I on fight night I will be 100-percent.

“When in doubt, I’ll kick from the hip up,” he jokingly added.

Silva’s coaches explained that their present focus is to build strength in Silva’s legs, rebuild his base, and prepare the former champion to face the rigors of a fight camp. They hope to have him functioning at 100-percent by December, then advance into full-on contact drills and sparring before Silva faces Diaz in the main event of UFC 183 on January 31, 2015.

In true form, Silva maintained with a smile that the Diaz fight will only be the first of the seven left he said he owes the UFC. The promise sounds like pipe dream for an athlete his age, but hey, “The Spider” has never been one for the ordinary. And if that road should lead back to a third match-up against Weidman, it’s no surprise that Silva suggested he would welcome it.

“This thing about returning, it’s because I feel that I let something go in this whole road, fighting,” Silva said. “In my last fights, I let something go, and I’m looking for that again. That’s what I’m after.

“After I got injured, I learned to value a few things that I had let go of, some things that I had left behind, and that changed me a lot. I’m more mature, I’m in a different phase [in my life]. So I’m very happy to be able to come back and do this again. I thought I wouldn’t be able to fight again, so I’m training even more now. Every day I’m more enthusiastic about training. My master is holding me back in training, he tells me I don’t have to run every day. Now I want to run every day. I couldn’t run for a whole month, I was just seeing people run, so now I’m running everyday like Forrest Gump.

“I lost a lot of things because of my personality,” Silva finished, “and I’m learning to deal with that and to understand that a lot of things need to change. And I’m very happy to have a lot of people rooting for me. I want to come back and I want to give everyone happiness.”

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Robbie Lawler on disappointing UFC 171 loss: ‘When you leave it up to the judges, those things happen’

DALLAS — Robbie Lawler was five minutes away from accomplishing what many believed to be, at least at one time, an impossible dream.

Fighting for the vacant UFC welterweight championship, Lawler and Johny Hendricks headed into the fifth round of UFC 171′s main event on Saturday night with the judges’ scorecards tied at two rounds apiece, and both men battered from an already grueling war of attrition.

Ultimately, though, it was Hendricks who managed to take control of the final frame and eek out a hard-fought unanimous decision victory, seizing the title that belonged to Georges St-Pierre for seven long years.

“The thing is, when you leave it up to the judges, those things happen,” a dejected Robbie Lawler said afterward at UFC 171′s post-fight conference. “I just didn’t do enough tonight, they thought. I need to go back to work, obviously. Work on some things. Work on throwing a little bit, maybe, some more punches. I thought I fought a good fight, defended some takedowns. It was a hell of a fight. He brought it, he was in shape, and he got the victory.”

Lawler fell behind early on the judges’ scorecards, dropping both of the first two rounds to Hendricks’ high pressure attack. Still, Lawler summoned the will to push back into contention, hammering Hendricks with heavy punches inside the pocket for much of the third and fourth frames.

“I wasn’t too worried about his takedowns and I wasn’t too worried about his punching,” Lawler said. “I just was trying to time him and see what was out there and take advantage of it.

“I saw his legs buckle a little bit but he recovered pretty fast and was throwing back. He’s a dangerous opponent, and once again maybe I should’ve pressed a little bit more and brought the fight to him a little bit earlier.”

Although he failed to capture the UFC welterweight strap this time around, Lawler’s performance was every bit as impressive as those that fight fans have come to expect from the revitalized 31-year-old.

Lawler entered the UFC in 2013 having lost three of his final four fights bouts under the now-defunct Strikeforce banner. At the time, many wrote off the hard-hitting southpaw. Yet Lawler immediately went to work, claiming a trio of exciting wins over Josh Koscheck, Bobby Voelker and Rory MacDonald inside the UFC Octagon, reestablishing himself as a contender to be feared.

And if Lawler had a second crack at Hendricks, he knows exactly what he would do differently.

“I would go out there and finish him this time,” Lawler said bluntly. “I should’ve done more in the fight and thrown more punches, thrown more kicks and took him out.

“I don’t know. It’s easy to look back now and look at the things you should’ve done,” he continued.

“I didn’t do it tonight, and he fought a hell of a fight.”

In truth, while the loss to Hendricks will likely sting for the foreseeable future, the second chapter of Lawler’s career appears to just be getting underway.

After gutting his way through such a memorable and closely contested contest, the future looks bright for Lawler, and a rematch with Hendricks likely isn’t too far away.

“I’m just disappointed,” Lawler finished with a sigh. “So close. It was a hell of a fight. It’s been a long road, a long journey, and I just didn’t see it going down this way.”

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Anderson Silva expected to return to training in six to nine months, already asking surgeons: ‘When can I train?’

Anderson Silva’s gruesome leg injury may have ended UFC 168 on a disastrous note. But according to the doctor who operated on Silva late Saturday night, the former UFC middleweight champion’s future isn’t nearly as bleak as many observers initially believed.

“The minute I saw it and recognized it, I knew it was fixable,” Dr. Steven Sanders, an orthopedic surgeon for the UFC, said Monday.

“We are not even 48 hours from the surgery, and tibia fractures, though we can get them to heal, can have slower healing. So in general, my prognosis would be a fracture healing somewhere in the nature of three to six months. But there’s also soft tissue components that have to heal, and then of course a rehabilitative process as well.”

Following the injury, Silva’s leg was stabilized inside the Octagon by Dr. Anthony Ruggeroli, “who immediately realigned the limb and applied traction.” Silva was then transported to a local hospital, where he underwent successful emergency surgery.

Sanders anticipates that if all goes as planed, Silva will be able to return to training within six to nine months — which is a good thing, considering that the question was apparently one of the first things on the former champ’s mind Saturday night.

“In the pre-op area, his questions were, ‘When can I train?’” Sanders said.

“He asked me in the pre-op area, ‘When can I train?’ And he has asked me every time, when I see him on my rounds, he asks: ‘Will I be able to train? When can I train?’ And I have always indicated to him that he should be able train.”

Silva suffered the injury when Chris Weidman checked a leg kick midway through the second round of the pair’s main event rematch at UFC 168. The inside of Weidman’s left knee collided with Silva’s shin, instantly snapping the bone and twisting Silva’s shin into a macabre ‘C.’

“In terms of the severity of the injury, it was, I would say, fairly severe,” Sanders said. Nonetheless Sanders later added that for however grisly Silva’s injury may have been, it was “extremely close” to being much worse.

“Fortunately for Anderson, the skin did not break,” Sanders said. “But where could an injury like that go? An injury like that could go where, as I mentioned, the skin breaks, and now you’ve got this exposed bone in the environment of an Octagon, and so his risk of infection goes up meteorically. He could have also twisted in such a different direction where he could’ve potentially lacerated an artery going to the foot, in which case you now have what we call vascular compromise. He could’ve, in that case, potentially needed a vascular reconstructive procedure to reattach an artery.

“Injuries like this can, at times, even be limb threatening. If the fracture is severe enough, if it compromises vascular supply to the feet and vascular supply cannot be reestablished, it can result in an amputation.”

Initial speculation after witnessing the 38-year-old fall victim to such a gruesome injury was that Silva’s career had come to an end. Sanders, however, noted that due to the nature of the injury, Silva’s age will not play a role in recovery. Sanders also saw very little evidence that Silva’s leg had been damaged prior to the break.

In addition, once the fracture is healed, Sanders expects the leg to return to full strength, and due a titanium rod doctors surgically inserted into Silva’s left tibia, to not be at risk for further damage.

“In this particular case, you had a bad fracture occur. Fortunately it occurred outside the joints,” Sanders said.

“So having occurred outside the joint, when the fracture heals, the bone will reassume its original strength. In addition to it achieving its original strength, [Silva] will also have a titanium rod that is 11.5 millimeters in diameter shoring up that area as well.”

Silva’s right leg is currently encased in a posterior splint. Sanders expects that within a few weeks, Silva will begin being able to put increased pressure on his leg.

Once both the fracture and soft tissue heal, Silva will begin a steady rehabilitation process, which Sanders expects will “not need to be as intense as we generally talk about when fighters injure ligaments, say, in the knee — so the expectation is positive.

“He is using crutches. We also have a walker available for him,” Sanders added.

“We’ve made both available to him. And again, I always mention that he’s only 48 hours, less than 48 hours, from a devastating injury. I have seen him up on crutches — and it’s amazing, because I don’t know if I would be able to do it that quickly.”



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