Watch the Korean Zombie put the hammer down on Leonard Garcia in this “Killer Finish“.
Chicago Fight Team’s Louis Taylor had just finished his main event victory against Eric Hammerich at APFC 11. As he left the cage to go celebrate with what seemed like a small city of fans and family, he kindly gave us a minute to address some issues: MTC fighter Mike Pitz, why he left Bellator and where he’ll be fighting next.
On Mike Pitz: “Pitz you’re a coward, stop wasting my time. We can be friends on Facebook, birthdays, but get off this ‘I wanna fight him, I don’t wanna fight him crap’”.
On Why he left Bellator: “Contract dispute. They don’t want to show me, they don’t want to pay me. I’d rather be on my own, getting it in at home. Then when I grow here, I’ll rep here on the big stage: the UFC.”
APFC promoter Rich Seldal said Taylor will again be the main event on in October 5. “If that’s what they want, I’m here,” Taylor said.
Check out the sound below.
It sounds crazy. Nick Diaz, UFC color commentator. The odds of it happening are slim to none. But what fun it would be.
Ariel Helwani interviewed Nick Diaz for FUEL TV after his fight with Georges St. Pierre, with Diaz saying that he wants a rematch. The rematch won’t happen anytime soon, but if Diaz retires I would love to see him on the panel with Jay Glazer and other fighters, or even teamed up with Jon Anik and Kenny Florian. It likely wouldn’t last long with Diaz’s proclivity to absences and foul language, but it would be awesome to watch him rap on other fighters and call fights.
Can you imagine the banter between Sonnen and Diaz? How critical Diaz would be of fighters with so-called ‘boring’ styles? It would be TV gold, and the tension would seep through the screen into your living room.
I find Diaz to be a compelling speaker, even when he rambles on. Because we rarely got to hear his true thoughts over the years, it was great to hear him talk in length at the press conference and in this clip.
by Matt Lo Cascio
It isn’t easy trying to rehab injuries, stay in fighting shape, own a gym, teach classes and coach pro and amateur fighters.
“I need a vacation,” Jeff Curran joked.
Curran has a lot on his plate these days, and that’s just how he likes it. There’s no slowing down for the 35-year-old, and he says he is finally healthy enough to get back in the cage. He will likely make his return, and flyweight debut, on May 18 for the XFO.
Curran couldn’t reveal his opponent, but he did tell us that the fighter had agreed to fight him on an earlier date, so he hopes to have an announcement soon. Curran was scheduled to fight Tachi Palace vet Dustin Ortiz at last year’s XFO Outdoor War but had to withdraw due to hand injuries. Ortiz has since signed with the RFA, so Curran will have a different opponent.
Meanwhile, Curran is getting four other Team Curran fighters ready for big fights, not to mention a number of fighters for XFO 47 on March 29.
One of those fighters is Bart Palaszewski, who will fight Cole Miller at the TUF 17 Finale on April 13. Palaszewski left the team for a spell, but he is back under the Team Curran banner.
“Bart is 100% with Team Curran,” Curran said. “We worked out some things that were long overdue and he is refocused with the team more than ever. I think Bart vs. Cole is an awesome match-up. Bart is hard to submit and a dangerous knockout fighter. Not to mention he has a solid submission game himself being a BJJ black belt under me.”
About a week before that fight is the Bellator featherweight championship match, where cousin Pat Curran will defend his title against Shahbulat Shamhalaev, who replaces the injured Daniel Straus. The training camp was thrown a curveball when Straus had to withdraw from the bout. Pat Curran’s first career knockout came against Straus back at XFO 29, but Jeff isn’t concerned about the change.
“I think it holds a different challenge than Straus, but it falls into our advantage and gives us a very good vision of a game-plan. Pat is ready to fight anyone they send us.”
Felice Herrig will fight Heather Clark in Tampa at Bellator 94, and Joey Diehl recently signed to fight Eric Moell on April 19 for the XFC on AXStv.
“We’re excited about Diehl’s fight. He was a replacement and gets a chance to prove he is who we all know he can be. March 28 – May 18 is action-packed busy with fights for Team Curran,” Curran said.
That much-needed vacation? It will have to wait.
by Matt Lo Cascio
Cole Miller knows what will be on the line when he fights Bart Palaszewski at the TUF 17 Finale on April 13, even if it hasn’t been spelled out for him.
“I am fighting for my job. No one has told me if I lose then I am cut, but that would make 3 (losses) in a row. Definitely the loser goes home after this fight,” Miller told Chicago’s MMA.
With the exception of Dan Hardy, three straight losses in the UFC seems to be the death knell. Both Miller and Palaszewski have lost three of their last four fights, including two in a row.
That aspect adds intrigue to what is already an interesting matchup of skills. Miller is known for his killer sub game, while Palaszewski has become known as more of a striker, although he does have an underrated ground game. Miller’s last 5 wins have come via submission. So can he beat Bart standing or does he have to take it to the ground?
“I never feel like I have to do anything to get the win. I can say that being predictable and trying to fight only in one area at a time is not the kind of game plan to go in there with to fight an experienced, seen-it-all kind of fighter like Bart.”
With so much at stake, Miller doesn’t have much energy to think about grudges, but rest assured that his feud with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is alive and well.
“When you don’t like someone, you don’t like them,” Miller said. “Nothing’s changed. Of course I want to fight the guy, but I’m not really in that kind of position at the moment. He’s the big dog right now at lightweight, with several high profile showings and I’m 0-2 at featherweight fighting for my job. I’m trying to think about Bart Palaszewski, not that guy.”
Miller also shared his thought on TRT usage throughout MMA. A well-known opponent of TRT, Miller doesn’t care that it is deemed ‘legal’.
“I’ve always been vocal about fighters that cheat, and use TRT. TRT can be called legal all day long. If your body doesn’t produce naturally what you feel it should then you shouldn’t fight anymore,” Miller said.
“I don’t respect anyone as a martial artist that uses TRT, EPO, HGH, Anavar, Deca or any other kind of steroid. What makes people worth fighting at the highest level is that they have something others don’t whether you were born with great genetics and have an average skill set, or your skill set is super high and you have below average athletic abilities. So basically you’re saying ‘I’m not happy with the cards I’ve been dealt, let me inject this into my body so we can all be equal’. But it’s not equal — that’s why guys that can throw 100mph consistently are worth big dollars, and guys that have a crazy amount of testosterone and killer instinct and high skill sets are worth big dollars.”
Pulling no punches, Dana White goes into deeper detail about the falling out with Randy Couture, as well as what the future holds for Ryan Couture in the UFC in this video from Middle Easy. He also has unkind words for Frank Shamrock.
by Matt Lo Cascio
Chicago cop Mike Russow was back fighting in his hometown Saturday night, as the UFC on Fox 6 invaded the United Center. Russow walked in to “Simple Kind of Man”, and entered the cage behind a thunderous roar from his many fans.
Russow had opponent Shawn Jordan in trouble early in the first round. Russow moved Jordan up against the cage and then landed a series of rights that left Jordan a bit wobbly and bloodied. Russow took a break from the barrage and gathered some breath while holding Jordan up against the cage.
With 2:30 left in the round, Russow unleashed another barrage of punches that stunned Jordan led to a takedown.
Jordan escaped, but with blood trickling down his face. Russow attempted a single-leg takedown but couldn’t complete it. Jordan landed some short, solid elbows at the end of the round, but Russow clearly won it.
Jordan seemed to have a better feel for Russow in the beginning of round 2, but then an eye poke to Russow halted the action.
Jordan found his range and began landing hard shots to Russow’s face, then easily took him down. Russow gave up his back to Jordan, but Russow escaped with about three minutes left in the round. He got Jordan in a clinch and the United Center crowd called for knees. Russow obliged, landing two knees behind a loud roar.
But Jordan was able to turn the tables on Russow, get him to the ground and take his back. There would be no escape for Russow this time, as he was clearly hurt from the powerful lefts and rights that Jordan was landing. Herb Dean stepped in to end it at 3:48 of round 2.
“I thought I had it,” Russow said. “I’m disappointed but it’s MMA. You have to finish when you get your guy hurt.”
Jordan acknowledged that Russow had him in big trouble in the opening round.
“How badly was I hurt in the first round? What? There was two rounds in that fight? Well, I was shook up pretty bad,” Jordan confessed. “That first round wasn’t fun at all.”
Russow drops to 15-3 in his pro career, including a second straight defeat. He suffered a first-round TKO loss to Fabricio Werdum at UFC 147 last June.
RESULTS FROM UFC ON FOX 6 – 1/26/13 – UNITED CENTER – CHICAGO, IL
Demetrious Johnson vs John Dodson – Demetrious Johnson def. John Dodson via UD
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs Glover Teixeira – Teixeira def. Jackson UD
Anthony Pettis vs Donald Cerrone – Pettis def. Cerrone, TKO- Strikes, 2:22 rd. 1
Erik Koch vs Ricardo Lamas – Lamas def. Koch via TKO – ref stoppage via strikes 2:22 rd.2
TJ Grant vs. Matt Wiman – Grant def Wiman via TKO 4:51 rd. 1
Clay Guida vs Hatsu Hioki- Guida def. Hioki via SD
Mike Stumpf vs Pascal Krauss – Krauss def. Stumpf via UD
Ryan Bader vs Vladimir Matyushenko – Bader def. Matyushenko via guillotine, :50 of rd. 1
Mike Russow vs Shawn Jordan – Jordan def. Russow via TKO-strikes, 3:48 rd. 2
Rafael Natal vs Sean Spencer – Natal submits Spencer via arm triangle, 2:13 rd. 3
Simeon Thoresen vs David Mitchell – Mitchell def. Thoresen via UD, 30-27 on all three judges’ cards
by Matt Lo Cascio
Most fight fans agree that the Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone bout has ‘Fight of the Night’ written all over it. Cerrone is usually cashing bonus checks after his fights and Pettis is one of the fastest, most dynamic strikers in the sport. There’s also a firm grudge in place and title shot implications abound. It is can’t-miss TV come Saturday night. Here’s a preview of one of the most anticipated fights on the card.
Cerrone told MMA Junkie that “The dude’s (Pettis) been running scared for two years,” he said. “He doesn’t fight. You can’t just not take fights. Three fights in two years.”
Pettis did the one thing that Cerrone could not: defeat Benson Henderson and claim the WEC lightweight title. Cerrone had two chances against Henderson back in the WEC. The first fight was won by Henderson via unanimous decision and the rematch wasn’t much of one at all as Henderson choked out Cerrone before two minutes had expired off the clock in the first round.
Cerrone had one other title shot in the WEC against Jamie Varner and he also dropped that fight to a split decision.
So when Cerrone says that Pettis has been ‘running scared’, it’s hard not to filter that through what’s happened in recent years. Pettis had one title shot and made the most of it. He landed one of the greatest kicks in MMA history and took the belt from the champion in his one and only chance at the title. Cerrone had three shots and came up empty each time. He also dropped a bout to Nate Diaz that would have earned him another shot at Henderson.
Both fighters are coming off impressive victories. Cerrone scored a first round knock out of Melvin Guillard at UFC 150 in August. Pettis knocked out Joe Lauzon in the first round of his only fight in 2012.
The winner of the Pettis vs. Cerrone fight likely gets a title shot against the winner of the Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez fight, so the stakes are extremely high for both combatants.
“When you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer…superstition ain’t the way.” – Stevie Wonder, “Superstition“
Anthony Pettis takes on Donald Cerrone at the United Center on Saturday, and if you believe in superstition, your money will be firmly behind The Cowboy before the cage door and betting windows slam shut.
Pettis has two losses on his pro record, both courtesy of Chicago-area fighters. Clay Guida handed Pettis his most recent loss in 2011 and Bart Palaszewski beat Pettis back at WEC 45 in 2009. So far, Chicago hasn’t been too kind to Pettis.
Oddsmakers basically have it even right now. I’ve seen Cerrone at -120 and Pettis at -110, as well vice versa.
UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez was in Chicago on Thursday to promote UFC on FOX 6 at the United Center on Jan. 26. He talked with ESPN Chicago’s Ray Flores about the prospect of fighting Alistair Overeem, and if he would want additional PED testing for Overeem, who is coming off a suspension.