Nate Marquardt vs. Dan Henderson Targeted for UFC 105 Main Event

Posted by fightstalker on Friday Sep 11, 2009 Under Breaking News


UFC 105 may have found its main event.

FanHouse has learned that the UFC is looking to book a middleweight bout between Nate Marquardt and Dan Henderson for the Nov. 14 show at the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England. As of Thursday afternoon, though, official bout agreements had yet to be finalized.

The winner of this potential bout would likely receive another title shot against current middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Marquardt was last seen knocking out Demian Maia at UFC 102 in just 21 seconds, while Henderson defeated Michael Bisping via second-round knockout at UFC 100 in July.

Despite the fact that both men have already suffered losses to Silva in the past, they are clearly the top two contenders in the UFC’s middleweight division. Marquardt lost to Silva via TKO at UFC 73 in July 2007. Since then, he has won four of five fights. Meanwhile, Henderson lost to Silva at UFC 82 via rear-naked choke submission. He has since rebounded to win his last three fights in a row.

MMA Bay first reported the possibility of the bout on Tuesday.

One of the potential holdups could be Henderson’s current contract status with the UFC. Earlier this week, MMA writer Josh Gross tweeted that Henderson was a free agent and contract negotiations were characterized as “slow.”

Other match-ups expected for the event include Bisping vs. Denis Kang, Dan Hardy vs. Dong Hyun Kim and James Wilks vs. Matt Brown. UFC 105 is scheduled to air via tape delay in the United States on Spike TV.

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Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira says he’s feeling great after his UFC 102 victory over Randy Couture, and he’s hoping to fight again soon, with the goal of getting a shot at UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.

“They asked me to fight in December,” Nogueira said. “I’m ready. … I’m going to be in shape in December. i don’t know who I’m going to fight, but my goal is to fight Brock Lesnar for the heavyweight title. He’s big but I think I’ve got better skills than him.”

Putting on my Joe Silva matchmaker thinking cap, the fight that would make the most sense for the UFC is putting Nogueira in a rematch of his 2003 battle with Mirko Cro Cop — but only if Cro Cop first beats Nogueira’s friend and training partner Junior dos Santos at UFC 103. A Nogueira-Cro Cop fight, with the winner getting a shot at the Lesnar-Shane Carwin winner, would be great.

If Cro Cop loses, however, things get trickier. Nogueira vs. dos Santos won’t happen because of their friendship. Nogueira wants a rematch with Frank Mir, who beat him last year, but Mir is scheduled to fight Cheick Kongo in December. Cain Velasquez would make sense as an opponent for Nogueira, but he’s fighting Ben Rothwell on October 24 and presumably wouldn’t be ready to fight again in December.

I actually think it’s possible that Nogueira could fight the Carwin-Lesnar winner without having to win another fight, although I think it’s more likely he’ll first fight Cro Cop, Velasquez or Mir. In any case, that great victory over Couture put Nogueira on the fast track to title contention.

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Dana White Disses Mayweather-Marquez

Posted by fightstalker on Thursday Sep 10, 2009 Under Breaking News, Dana White


Dana White hasn’t cooled off on HBO boxing’s decision to air the Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez boxing match on Sept. 19 — the same night as UFC 103.

In a new video released by the UFC on Wednesday, which contains some obscene language, White took a few more jabs at his pay-per-view counterparts.

“Boxing is doing it to you again,” White said. “They’re giving you the fight that you don’t want. Nobody asked for this fight with Mayweather and … what’s his name? What’s his name? Nobody even knows. Nobody in this room even knows who Floyd’s fighting.

” … On that same night, on that UFC card, you guys can all tune in and you can watch not one fight, you guys can watch five great fights that night for ten dollars less than what Floyd wants you to pay to see him run around in circles, and lay on the ropes, and move around and not fight.”

However, Mark Taffet, the senior vice president of HBO pay-per-view, told FanHouse at a sports business forum in New York City on Wednesday, that they didn’t try to intentionally counterprogram UFC 103.

“It’s definitely not something that happens intentionally, and it’s something that you would want to have happen as infrequently as possible because the distribution pipelines prefer to be clean and singularly focused,” Taffet said. “When it does occur, we’re confident from a consumer perspective of there being very little overlap and the events will all thrive. But it’s clearly something that on a going forward basis that will happen as infrequently as possible.”

Regardless, Taffet doesn’t believe either show will generate less pay-per-view buys as a result of airing on the same night.

“There’s very little overlap in the fan bases between the sports. We believe that there’s not more than 5% overlap in the fan bases. Each sport has its unique fans, it’s passionate fans, and its loyal fans. We think that our fans are going to find Mayweather-Marquez that night — we’re very confident about that — and it’s a world in which multiple sports are thriving in the pay-per-view industry and the pay-per-view distributors the beneficiaries.”

The UFC and HBO boxing will also go head-to-head on Nov. 14 when the Manny Pacquaio vs. Miguel Cotto fight will air against Spike’s tape delayed telecast of UFC 105.

It’s clear that all parties involved on the boxing side have no interest in talking about competing against the UFC. When FanHouse asked Mayweather about White recently saying he wasn’t a superstar, Mayweather quickly brushed it off.

“I’m not worried about what Dana White said,” Mayweather said. “I mean, Dana White says what he says — it don’t matter. I’m not thinking about Dana White.”

Perhaps Golden Boy and HBO don’t want to give the public a reason to pay attention to UFC 103, or maybe they just don’t consider the UFC competition. But White is taking a much different approach. He seems to have no issue addressing the Mayweather-Marquez fight in the crucial days leading up to Sept. 19. Conventional wisdom says a promoter should never address the competition, but if you thought White would do that in this case, you haven’t been paying much attention.

Only time will tell if either show will suffer from going up against each other. But one thing is for certain: it looks like the war between the UFC and boxing is only getting started.

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Quick Strikes “Money Talks But Fedor Walks”

Posted by Clark Arroyo on Thursday Sep 10, 2009 Under Breaking News, Clark Arroyo, Quick Strikes


Qucik Strikes: Volume 1 Issue #1

September 10,2009

By: Clark Arroyo Lead Staff Writer

“Money Talks But Fedor Walks”

In my first article for this site, I’m going to write about the same thing all MMA fans talk about. Why didn’t Fedor Emelianenko sign with the UFC?

Think about it for a second, he signed a deal that pays him less money, he won’t be able to market to the same degree he would have without the UFC name, won’t have to face the same caliber talent that the UFC has under contract. Even other fighters wonder like Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, “I like Fedor as a fighter,” Filipovic said during a pre-fight conference call for UFC 103 on Tuesday. “As a man, I don’t want to insult Fedor, but I don’t understand his attitude. I really don’t understand why he doesn’t want to enter the UFC.” Filipovic — who will face Brazilian bomber Junior dos Santos in the UFC 103 co-main event on Sept. 19 in Dallas — lost a unanimous decision to Emelianenko under the Pride Fighting Championships umbrella in 2005. A rematch now seems unlikely since the two heavyweights are fighting in different organizations. Emelianenko signed with Strikeforce in August and will debut against undefeated Brett Rodgers, sometime this fall. So the question remains, why?

In my opinion, it simply that his Russian management team thinks that by keeping his record perfect it makes him top dog, and ask for a bigger piece of the promotional pie because he’s the main attraction. Let’s face, until Brock Lesnar loses, Lesnar vs. Emelianenko is the biggest fight out there right now, by far, and would break all previous records. Fedor’s people must think that they too much to lose to actually have to face a credible opponent.

I want to see the rematch between Anderson Silva vs. Dave Henderson. I just love Henderson’s style, and he’s on a hot streak now. A rematch with Silva, would be a really great match with lots of big strikes. This is really a main event fight.

I heard Ricardo Myorga is going to fight MMA. Let’s face it, as a boxer he’s washed up. He’s now just a trail horse in that sport.  In this sport, unless he knocks out someone with his first combo of blows, he’ll get taken off his feet and pounded into a bloody pulp. We’ve seen it happened over and over when a guy in another sport tries his hands at MMA. Then I love watching guy get knocked out. I’m looking forward to watching Myorga asleep on the canvas. I’ll never forget when Myorga won his title as a boxer, walking around the inside of the rings puffing to two cigarettes at the same time.

Diego Sanchez has signed an 8 fight deal with the UFC, setting up a match between him, and BJ Penn for a match close to the end of the year. It will be interesting to watch Penn toy with Sanchez until he decides to end the match. Penn is a monster at his prime. Putting in Sanchez to Penn is like an Aztec human sacrifice to appease the gods.

I’m looking forward to my new relationship with this web site and it’s readers. Please feel free to send comments, videos, emails, etc. to me. I will try to look at all of it, please be a little patient until I get a little more up to speed.

Keep training!

- Clark Arroyo

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UFC Signs Network TV Deal in the UK

Posted by fightstalker on Wednesday Sep 9, 2009 Under Breaking News, UFC


Less than six weeks after reaching a UK and Ireland television agreement with ESPN, the UFC announced Tuesday that UFC programming will land on network TV in the UK.

The UFC has signed a deal with FIVE, one of only five terrestrial networks in the UK and has a reach of over 30 million viewers. A part of the deal will also call for programming on FIVE’s sister channel, FIVE USA, which focuses on hour-long American dramas such as the CSI and House.

Airing on the free channel is a new weekly highlight show called UFC: Main Event on Sundays at midnight and FIVE USA will carry The Ultimate Fighter 10: Heavyweights on Saturdays three days after the US broadcast.

“This is a huge step for the UFC in the UK,” UFC UK President Marshall Zelaznik said in a statement. “We are delighted to partner up with FIVE – who are trailblazers in their approach to both sports and programming – and bring the best bouts and the world’s greatest fighters to the largest possible audience. We know we are going to create a whole new generation of UFC fans on FIVE.”

Live UFC pay-per-view and UFC Fight Night events will continue to air in the UK on ESPN, which like in the U.S., is a paid subscription channel.

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UFC Newcomer Jay Silva Still Doesn't Believe His Dream Has Come True

Posted by fightstalker on Wednesday Sep 9, 2009 Under Breaking News, UFC


Two years ago, Jay Silva was just a nightclub bouncer in New York City who got into a lot of fights and liked watching MMA on television. Then a chance encounter with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 78 in Newark, N.J., led to him moving to California to begin his MMA career. Next week, he’ll make his Octagon debut when he steps in on short notice to face CB Dollaway at UFC Night 19 in Oklahoma City. Dollaway’s original opponent, Dan Miller, was forced to withdraw from the bout after suffering an undisclosed infection.

FanHouse spoke to the Silva, who improved his record to 5-1 on Aug. 15 against veteran Ray Lizama, about his unique road to the UFC and how he plans on preparing for Dollaway. The full interview is below.

Ariel Helwani: How did you get into MMA?
Jay Silva: I used to be a bouncer in New York and I used to get into fights all the time. I met this guy, who was part of Renzo Gracie’s family, and he used to bounce with me. He always used to tell me to come train with them jiu-jitsu. One day I saw The Ultimate Fighter 1, and I thought, Man, I can do that; I can kick those guys a**. So I decided to go down there and start training. Next thing I know, I was fighting.

Why did you decide to leave New York for Los Angeles?
Because I met “Rampage” and he moved me here.

Where did you met “Rampage”?
I met “Rampage” at UFC 78. He sat in front of me and his best friend sat next to me. I always liked “Rampage,” and was like, Wow, I can’t believe it’s “Rampage” Jackson. I was a big fan of his, so I went and asked for a picture. So “Rampage” looked at me like he didn’t really want to take the picture and was like, ‘Oh, ok.’ And I hated him for that. I was like, Who does this guy think he is? There were a lot of people asking to take pictures and he was trying to pay attention to the fights, but I didn’t understand that.

Then I was sitting next to his friend — I didn’t know it was his friend — and we were taking bets on the fight, and he was like, ‘Are you from here?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ And he said, ‘Oh, man, I want to go out tonight. Do you know any spots?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I work as a bouncer in New York, so I know all the spots. Where do you want to go?’ He said, ‘Take me out,’ and I said, ‘OK.’ We switched numbers, and next thing I know, he calls me a half an hour later and says, ‘Hey, is it alright if I bring some friends?’ I didn’t know he was bringing “Rampage.” Next thing I know, he showed up with “Rampage,” Dan Henderson, Jason “Mayhem” Miller. When “Rampage” came out of the car, he gave me a big hug, and I thought, This guy is weird. But that’s it. When we got into the club, we started talking and got along really good, and he was like, ‘Come down to train with me. I’m always down to train with new people.’ Next thing I knew, he called me to come train with him in California. So I went there, we got along good, and next thing I knew we were like best friends. He then asked me to move to California, and here I am.

What do you make of Jackson agreeing to appear in the new A-Team movie, thus postponing his fight against Rashad Evans?
I think it’s good for him, man. I’m really happy for him. He’s doing what he likes to do; he’s passionate about movies. He always wanted to do movies.

Some people believe that fighters should be fighters and actors should be actors …
Because they’re not fighters. When they get in the cage and fight and see how hard it is, or train every day and see how hard it is, then they’ll change they’re mind. You’ve got NBA players who want to be singers and rappers who want to be athletes. And now you’ve got MMA fighters who want to be movie stars. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.

So how did this new deal with the UFC come about?
Man, [his agent] Kenny [Pavia] got it. I went to spend the weekend in New York, and next thing I know Kenny called me and said, ‘I got great news for you.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, OK, what is it?’ And he just told me I was going to be fighting in UFC. I didn’t believe it. I said I was only going to believe it when I signed the contract. I just went to sign the contract and I still don’t believe it. I just worked so hard to get here and I am finally here. I’m just going to believe it when I’m in there, in the Octagon, on TV. That’s when I’m really going to believe it.

Is there a part of you who wishes you could have more time to train for your UFC debut?
Yeah. I wish I had more time to show my skills, but I fought on Aug. 15 at “Call to Arms,” so I’m still in pretty good shape. I could have been in better shape because I took some time off, but I’m going back to training right now. Before that, Cheick Kongo, who’s right here, he’s like my big brother, we’re always training together. We’re not training hardcore, but we’re training. I don’t care. A fight for me is a fight. The worst case scenario is getting knocked out — that’s all. I don’t think he’s going to win anyway. I wish I had more time, but sometimes it don’t happen that way.

Did you expect to get a shot in the UFC this early in your career?
I’ve been working at that for a long time, but I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know.

Would you have rather had a few more fights under your belt before getting the call from the UFC?
Man, I think I’m ready right now. I know I can be a really good fighter. You guys ain’t see nothing yet. But I know I’m ready for the UFC because this is what every MMA fighter is working for.

Dollaway lost his last fight in 55 seconds. Are you expecting to face a desperate fighter next week because if he loses he might be on his way out of the UFC?
Yeah. I feel sorry for him because I know he’s going to lose. I think CB is a great fighter, man. I don’t know CB, and if you’re not a fighter that I like, I don’t watch your fights. And CB is not one of the fighters that I look up to, so I’ve never seen his fights. I’ve seen a little glimpse of his fights when they’re on TV, but he’s not one of the guys that I pay attention to see how they fight. And even now that I know I’m going to fight him, I never do research on my opponents because I want to go out there and fight my fight. If you learn too much about your opponent your going to be worried about what you are going to do to defend yourself. I don’t want to think about him and I just want to fight my fight. … For me, there are two ways [this fight can end]: I’m getting knocked out or he’s getting knocked out. But we’re not going to go to a decision. I never liked going to a decision and I don’t plan on going now. So hopefully I will knock him out.

Why wouldn’t you want to watch tape on your opponent? I can’t understand how that would do more harm than good for you.
I let my coaches do that, and even when they do that, I don’t want them to tell me. They’re going to train me according to my opponent. If I see my opponent fight, I’m going to start thinking about what I’m going to do. … So might as well not pay attention to what he is going to do and just go out there and do what you want to do.

What will you do to prepare for this fight considering it’s just a week away?
Basically, I’m going to do whatever I do for all my fights. I’m doing more strength and conditioning for this fight because it’s short notice and I know he has been training for a long, so he’s in good shape. I just want to make sure I’m in really good shape, too. So basically, I want to focus more on strength and condition and just be ready for the fight. I don’t want to gas in the fight or give people any excuse. I want people to see the real Jay Silva. Otherwise it’s going to be messed up because you’re not going to have the chance to see the real Jay Silva because it’s short notice. But I’m not making any excuses. I took the fight because I wanted to take the fight and I took the fight because I knew I can win this fight.

What’s it like training with Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles?
Man, the guy is amazing. He’s such a nice person; he’s so good. He’s just amazing. I’m a big fan of Freddie Roach. When I got out there, I didn’t have any money or anything, and he said, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ And he held pads for me and helped me with training. You know, he believed in my like “Rampage” did. He said, ‘You know, you’re going to be good and I want to be there when you get there.’ So for me, it’s amazing. A guy like that taking his time to come and help me, it’s just amazing. … And I’m the only MMA fighter who goes there every single day. People think I’m a boxer because I go there every single day.

Do the MMA fighters get to train with the boxers?
We train with all boxers. The good thing about Freddie Roach is that Wild Card is a boxing gym. There’s no such thing as MMA. If you step in there with your MMA knees and kicks, they look at you and say, ‘Listen, this is boxing. So if you want to do your MMA, get out of here. This is strictly boxing.’ So you train with everybody.

Will Roach be in your corner for this fight?
No, Freddie won’t be in my corner. My other boxing coach, Eric Brown, will be in my corner. Freddie has some expo to do or something, so he couldn’t make it. Hopefully next time.

For those who have yet to see you fight, which fighter would you compare your style to?
You gotta see my style and then you’re going to tell me.

So no comparison out there?
I’m Jay Silva and I got my own style. You got to see it, man. You know, I don’t want to compare myself to this fighter or that fighter. No, I got my own style and you got to see it. After you see it, you’ll be like, ‘Wow, you were right.’

What would be your dream match in the UFC?
(Laughs) I don’t want to say, man.

Why not? Why are you shy all of a sudden?
I’m not shy, it’s just … I don’t know, I’m an up-and-comer. I can’t pick fights — I just want to fight.

Well, there are a lot of good fighters in MMA with your last name. Will people soon have to talk about you when discussing the best Silvas in the sport?
I will be in that mix pretty soon, you’ll see. Mark my words.

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Sanchez Signs 8-Fight Deal

Posted by fightstalker on Wednesday Sep 9, 2009 Under Breaking News, Diego Sanchez


Diego Sanchez signed a new eight-fight deal with the UFC on Tuesday, clearing the path for a lightweight title bid against B.J. Penn at UFC 107 in Dec. 12 in Memphis, Tenn.

Sanchez’s representation, Jeff Clark of NCFC Management, confirmed the fighter’s re-signing with the promotion.

Once bout agreements are signed, Sanchez vs. Penn is expected to co-headline the December pay-per-view event. A main event pairing Rashad Evans against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to conclude their turns as rival coaches on Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter 10” has been postponed. A replacement bout has not been announced.

The winner of season one of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Sanchez is on a four-fight winning streak with the promotion. The 27-year-old fighter dispatched Joe Stevenson at UFC 95 last February and Clay Guida, via a close split decision, at “The Ultimate Fighter 9” Finale in June.

Sanchez has only two losses on his docket to Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck, both by decision in 2007. In his 23 career bouts, Sanchez has never been stopped.

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Martin Kampmann Unfazed By Recent UFC 103 Opponent Switch

Posted by fightstalker on Tuesday Sep 8, 2009 Under Breaking News, Martin Kampmann, UFC


Prior to UFC 72, Martin Kampmann was on the verge of fighting Rich Franklin for a future shot at middleweight champion Anderson Silva. However, a knee injury forced him to withdraw from the bout. Since then, the 27-year-old worked his way up the welterweight division. He was supposed to fight Mike Swick at UFC 103 for a shot at current 170-pound champion Georges St-Pierre, but Swick pulled out late last week after suffering a concussion in training.

Kampmann (15-2) will now face UFC newcomer Paul Daley (21-8-2) on Sept. 19, but as he recently told FanHouse, no title shot will be on the line. Still, the Danish-born fighter, who most recently defeated Carlos Condit at UFC Fight Night 18 in April, is just excited to return to action. Check out the full interview below.

Ariel Helwani: When did you find out that Mike Swick had to pull out of the fight?
Martin Kampmann: I found out, I think it was, Thursday night.

Considering how much was on the line, what were the thoughts going through your mind?
Oh, I was very bummed. First, I just heard that Swick pulled out, so I didn’t anything about [a new] opponent yet, but they said would try to get a replacement. I was very bummed out. I was looking forward to fighting Swick and there was a title shot on the line, too. Of course it sucks. That was a fight I was looking forward to.

Swick has already said that he would be ready to fight in October. Would you have rather waited to fight him then so you can get the title shot?
No, I’m ready to fight right now. I’ll fight Paul Daley — I’m happy he stepped in. After I beat him, I’ll fight Swick.

Is the No. 1 contender spot still on the line?
I think it’s just a regular fight. I don’t think there’s a contendership status anymore. Paul Daley is a tough a** fighter, but you know, he don’t have the same recognition that Swick does here in the U.S. He hasn’t made the same kind of name for himself in the UFC, so not to talk anything away from him, because he’s a real tough guy and dangerous opponent, so I’m not underestimating him, but he don’t have the same name recognition.

It seems as though some are interested in seeing Swick fight Matt Hughes next, and he recently tweeted about that. Do you think he may be looking past you now?
Maybe it’s because Matt Hughes is a big name and he’s the former champ. But he’s not the same guy he used to be, and maybe Swick thinks he can beat him. Maybe he don’t want to fight me because he knows I’m a tough fight.

Is it hard to get excited about this fight because you aren’t fighting Swick and the title shot isn’t on the line anymore?
No. You know, I was bummed out when I heard, but I’m over it now and I’m ready to go. I’m looking forward to fighting Paul Daley.

When the UFC offered you a fight against TJ Grant in May, you told me it was a lose-lose situation for you because not many people knew who he was. Do you feel the same way about this fight?
I don’t know. I’ve been training hard for a fight, so I would be really bummed to not have an opponent after I’ve already had such a long, hard training camp. It wasn’t like I was in a training camp when I got the other fight offered. It was on fairly short notice, and now it’s just a guy pulling out. You know, injuries happen, and I don’t know what happened to Swick, but of course it sucks for him and it sucks for me too. But I think Paul Daley has a good name outside of the UFC. He’s got a good name in the European circuit where I fought earlier too, and he’s still got some kind of good name over here. He’s fought in EliteXC and a lot of the other shows. He’s a tough guy and not to be underestimated. But of course I think Swick would be a better name to beat.

Do you plan on watching a lot of tape on Daley leading up to the fight?
Yeah. I’m going to study a little bit of his stuff. They’re similar in regards to they’re both really good strikers and heavy-handed. So in that regard, they’re similar. But of course, one guy is a tall guy, another guy is a short guy, and they do different stuff, different moves. Daley kicks a lot more than Swick does, but on the other hand, he probably has a bit of a weaker ground game than Swick does. So you know, the fight is a little different, so I’m going to switch it up.

In Daley’s most famous fight against Jake Shields on CBS last October, Shields showed that he has some work to do on his ground game. Are you hoping to exploit that, as well?
If I get him down, I definitely feel like I got a big advantage. You know, people say that Paul Daley don’t have a ground game; I think he has a ground game. You know, when you’re fighting against Shields, he’s a jiu-jitsu black belt with a great ground game. It’s easy to make other guys look stupid because his ground game is really good. So I definitely expect Paul Daley to have a ground game, as well. I just think it’s not as developed as his striking game is.

Daley likes to talk a lot of trash. Do you expect to hear some of that in the next 10 days or so?
Yeah, he’ll probably talk trash. But if he’s got a big mouth and wants to talk trash, let him do it. It’s not going to help in him in the ring.

You’re from Denmark and he’s from England. We don’t often see marquee fights pitting two European fighters in the UFC. Does that make this fight seem extra special for you?
I haven’t really thought about it until you mentioned it, but now that you say it, yeah, it’s pretty cool. I think it’s a high-profile fight and it’s two European guys. That is pretty cool. We’re getting better, you know?

If you beat Daley, who would you like to fight next?
I don’t know. Let me beat Daley first and I’ll tell you about it. Of course, I would still like to fight Swick because that’s what I was looking forward to and I was very disappointed to see him pull out. Maybe we can make that happen.

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Posted by fightstalker on Tuesday Sep 8, 2009 Under Breaking News

PraterMaximum Fighting Championship on Tuesday announced the signing of Brazilian fighter Carlo Prater to a three-fight deal. He gets an immediate shot at the MFC lightweight championship as part of the agreement.

Prater will face current champion Antonio McKee for the belt at MFC 22: Payoff on Oct. 2 at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Enoch, Alberta, Canada.

“Carlo’s credentials are fantastic and he will deservedly get a chance at the title,” said MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich.

“Few fighters are willing to jump right into a fight with Antonio McKee but Prater didn’t waste a second in accepting the challenge. It is a golden opportunity for him and the great part about it is that Prater versus McKee should be a terrific title fight for the fans to watch.”

Prater (24-6-1) has won three of his last four fights. He holds a victory over MFC welterweight champion Pat Healy via submission in 2005. He has also defeated UFC veterans Melvin Guillard, Spencer Fisher, and Carlos Condit.

McKee (22-3-2) has steamrolled through his opposition since moving down from welterweight and has not lost a bout since a defeat to Karo Parisyan in February of 2003. The fight against Prater will be McKee’s first defense of the MFC 155-pound championship, which he captured in a five-round decision over Derrick Noble at MFC 20.

McKee vs. Prater will be the co-main event of MFC 22 alongside the middleweight showdown between UFC veterans Jason MacDonald and Travis Lutter.

MFC 22 will air live throughout North America on HDNet Fights.

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The final slot on the TV portion of the Sept. 25 “Strikeforce Challengers: Kennedy vs. Cummings” event will go to two-time U.S. Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier.

Strikeforce Director of Communications Mike Afromowitz confirmed Cormier’s signing with ( and said the fighter’s opponent should be finalized in the next day or two.

Cormier, the latest in a long line of former Oklahoma State wrestling standouts who have moved to MMA, will make his pro debut at the event, which airs on Showtime and takes place at SpiritBank Event Center in Bixby, Okla.

AOL FanHouse first reported last week that Cormier was expected to debut as a light heavyweight at the upcoming show.

Cormier enters Strikeforce with impressive amateur-wrestling credentials. The Louisiana native was a three-time state high school champion, a two-time junior-college champ at Colby Community College, and an NCAA Division I national runner-up at OSU. Among his many post-college accomplishments are a spot on the 2004 U.S. Olympic team and an appointment as the 2008 Olympic team’s captain.

Other OSU Cowboys who have recently found MMA success include Jake Rosholt, King “Mo” Lawal, Johny Hendricks and Shane Roller.

As reported last month, Cormier is now training in California with the famed American Kickboxing Academy in preparation of his MMA debut.

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