Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting/Jesse Holland MMAMania

I think we know who Vitor Belfort is rooting for at UFC 162…

If you’re Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Vitor Belfort, this probably isn’t the news you were hoping to hear.

“The Phenom” recently told UFC President Dana White that he “deserves” the next shot at the 185-pound strap, following two spectacular head-kick knockouts over fellow top division contenders Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold.

There’s just one problem.

Belfort was blown out of the water by reigning middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva when they first met for the title back at UFC 126, and trying to convince the 38 year-old “Spider” to extend another invitation — particularly with a pair of “super fights” looming — is a pretty tall order.

White explains (via MMA Weekly):

“So when you go back to Anderson Silva, who is in the twilight of his career, and you say to a guy like Anderson, what about Vitor? ‘I annihilated Vitor. I got other fights that I wanna fight.’ You talk about his legacy and his this and his that. Those are tough fights to make. I’m not saying that Vitor couldn’t get the next shot, or couldn’t get a shot soon, but if you’re Anderson Silva… ‘I wanna fight (Georges St. Pierre) or Jon Jones or somebody different.’ You could make a better argument that Dan Henderson should get the next shot. He hasn’t looked impressive and he hasn’t won, but (Silva) didn’t beat him as bad as he did Vitor.”

Ouch.

Henderson hasn’t seen the 185-pound weight class since coming up lame in his Strikeforce debut, a five-round decision loss to Jake Shields in Nashville back in 2010. Since then, “Hendo” has been doing work at 205 pounds, with mixed results, but did offer to drop back down for a crack at the crown.

That can happen when you lose two straight.

And since he holds a 2006 win over Belfort under the PRIDE banner, he apparently makes “the better argument,” though I’m not too sure Silva would be keen on entertaining a second dance with Henderson, either, having dispatched the rugged ex-Olympian in March 2008.

What a tangled web we weave.

Then again, none of this really matters if Silva coughs up his belt to Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC 162: “Silva vs. Weidman,” which takes place tomorrow night (July 6, 2013) at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Belfort vs. Weidman? Yeah, I could see that.

You?

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USA TODAY Sports/Mike Bohn MMAMania

Josh Thomson is trying to make a case for a UFC lightweight title shot, saying a victory over Anthony Pettis is the only thing separating him from the opportunity to challenge for 155-pound gold.

“You pull out of 145(-pound) fight, and from what I understand he’s waiting to fight the winner of T.J. and Benson, so I feel like I’m the guy…You need to get through me to get there. I’m the No. 1 contender right now. No one else is…I’m a big fan of Pettis, and I have a lot of respect for him…But I feel like that they hold him on such a high pedestal that he’s the only thing standing between me and a title shot…You can only keep your mouth shut for so long…You want that title, dude. That’s all you want. My whole career has been about that title, and there’s not a bigger title in the f—ing world.”

— Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight Josh Thomson tells MMA Junkie that he badly wants a No. 1 contenders fight with Anthony Pettis to determine who should face the winner of the UFC 164 lightweight title bout between divisional champion Benson Henderson and top contender T.J. Grant. “The Punk” feels that after his highlight reel knockout of Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 7 last April, he is the top contender in the weight class with Pettis choosing to move down to featherweight to challenge Jose Aldo. But since “Showtime” injured himself training for the bout and is likely to make his return at 155-pounds, Thomson thinks it’s only fair that he squares off with the dynamic striking sensation to figure out who the true next top contender is. Pettis is currently still sidelined with the knee injury that forced him out of the UFC 163 title bout with Aldo and is expected to return to action just after summertime.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports

UFC President Dana White once called veteran mixed martial arts (MMA) official Steve Mazzagatti, “the worst referee in the history of fucking fights,” but Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director Keith Kizer says that White just likes to “put people down” because of his “ego.”

Josh Burkman shocked the mixed martial arts (MMA) world last Friday night (June 14, 2013) when he defeated Jon Fitch in the main event of World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 3, which took place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“The People’s Warrior” needed less than a minute to secure the submission win by way of guillotine choke (watch replay here).

Following the event, UFC President Dana White slammed the performance of referee Steve Mazzagatti (read it here). The longtime man in black did not stop the fight, nor did he need to, as Burkman simply stood up and left his lifeless foe asleep on the canvas.

Fortunately for Fitch, his conqueror knew when to say when.

But it the wake of Fitchgate, Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director (NSAC) Keith Kizer was quick to downplay White’s critique, insisting the “weird” ending of the fight was not based on a judgment call by the official, but rather a series of circumstances that allowed the contest to conclude on its own.

His comments to MMA Fighting:

“It as neither a positive or a negative on the referee. All of us in the arena, and the commentators who know their stuff, were really shocked Jon (Fitch) was out. Steve was right there. He had to walk two steps. He walked two steps and waved off the fight. It was very easy for him, and every easy for Josh as well. It was a weird ending to the fight, but good for Josh. The guy went out and Josh immediately released the hold. What’s weird is he flipped Fitch over, away from the ref. When Josh had the hold, he (Mazzagatti) was one step away. He had a perfect view. Josh flipped him away from the ref, then stood up. I would praise the referee if he did a good job. But here, there’s nothing to talk about the ref. It wasn’t a good job or a bad job. He had no job. I think most people thought Jon was going to get out. Bas (Rutten) and I both thought he was letting go of the hold and transitioning to another hold. The story should be about Josh getting an amazing win, doing the right thing, and releasing the hold. This isn’t about the ref. Dana’s a good guy. Very few people care about other people as much as Dana. But you’ve heard what he’s said about former fighters, former employees, even fighters in his organization. Even Jon Jones. He likes to put people down, whether rightly or wrongly. It’s an ego thing. We all have egos. I think it’s wrong when people lie and you can make your own conclusions on Dana.”

This wasn’t the first time White blasted The Mazz.

He wanted to “blow his brains out” earlier this year when it was learned that Steve-O was in charge of the UFC 156 main event between Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar, a happenstance White said he could “spend 45 minutes” complaining about (his rant here).

No matter.

As Mazzagatti said, he doesn’t work for ZUFFA and it’s not his job to make sure the fights end the way a promoter wants them to (comments here). Unfortunately, since White has been so vocal about the shortcomings of his nemesis, it has led to his fighters hopping on the bandwagon when they come up short in a big spot (example).

Two sides to every story fight fans … which one are you taking?

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE/Mike Bohn

Following his knockout of Luke Rockhold, UFC on FX 8 main event winner Vitor Belfort compares his longevity at the top level of the sport at 36 years of age to a “T-Rex surviving in a new jungle.”

“I was a part of two jungles. I’m a T-Rex surviving in a new jungle and I rebuild myself. God give me the strength. I used to be strong then and I’m strong now so I think it’s just a burning inside of me that said, ‘You didn’t accomplish what you want.’ I did so many things in my career, I made so many mistake and Dana [White] and Lorenzo [Fertitta] gave me the chance and I promised them, ‘I’m going to give you my best and I’m going to finish as strong as I can finish.'”

— Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Vitor Belfort explains why he is still able to compete at the top level of the sport at 36 years of age to Heidi Androl on the UFC on FX 8: “Belfort vs. Rockhold” post-fight show. In typical Belfort fashion, “The Phenom” used a combination of God and an animal reference to explain his ability to consistently keep a place at the top of the mixed martial arts (MMA) mountain after all these years; also stating that he made a promise to UFC owners Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta that he would close out his career by giving everything he has. Belfort’s newfound dedication has paid off, as the Brazilian picked up a phenomenal (no pun intended) head kick knockout of Luke Rockhold (watch it here) in the UFC on FX 8 main event to push his record to 5-1 in the middleweight division since dropping from light heavyweight in 2008. Belfort’s passion for the sport appears to be stronger than ever, which is a scary prospect for every 185-pound fighter on the UFC roster.

Jon Kopaloff/mmamania

Shots fired! UFC lightweight Diego Sanchez is “not impressed” by the king of his division Benson Henderson. Sanchez tells MMA Junkie he believes the current 155-pound titleholder has “a lot of holes in his game” and that he could beat “Smooth” for the belt if given the opportunity.

“After watching Benson Henderson’s performance against Gilbert Melendez, I must say, I wasn’t impressed. I see a lot of holes in his game, and I feel like that belt’s there for the taking … I see holes in his game, and I really felt he lost that fight to Gilbert… He’s strong, but in the Gilbert fight, he didn’t try to do one takedown the whole fight, which I think a champion would see, ‘I’m not dominating this fight in the standup, so let’s work for something else. Let’s try to change it up and at least get some points.’ At least try to win some rounds more convincingly, the way he did with Jim Miller. But he was just very content in his striking style and throwing the kicks. I saw it as a mediocre performance, and I think I can get in there and beat this guy.”

— Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight title challenger Diego Sanchez tells MMA Junkie he is “not impressed” by current 155-pound titleholder Ben Henderson, especially after seeing his last fight against Gilbert Melendez at UFC on FOX 7. “The Dream” claims there are many holes in the game of “Smooth” and firmly believes he is capable of exposing those holes and dethroning one of the most successful lightweight champions in UFC history. Even though Sanchez is coming off a highly controversial split decision win over Takanori Gomi at UFC on FUEL TV 8 last March and is no where near a title shot at this point in time, the Jackson’s MMA trained fighter is beaming with confidence that he would be able to do what six other men in the UFC have been unable to do thus far — beat Henderson. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season one winner does not have a fight lined up at this time, but is currently rumored to compete against an unnamed opponent at UFC 164 in August 2013.

English: Picture of MMA fighter Rich Franklin ...

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

What retirement? Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin says despite his knockout loss to Cung Le, he isn’t planning on hanging up his 5-pounce gloves anytime soon, but business ventures are top priority at the moment.

Once the king of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight division, Rich Franklin, 38, isn’t quite ready to call it a mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

Even though “Ace” acknowledges his “time is limited” in the grueling sport, he isn’t ready to throw in the towel on his 14-year career despite getting knocked out cold by Cung Le in round one UFC on Fuel TV 6 in Macao, China, back in Nov. 2012.

Franklin, however, does have other interests occupying his time at the moment, including an organic juice business he plans to open in Los Angeles, Calif., which will support his lifestyle once his paychecks from fighting stop rolling in.

Appearing on “The MMA Hour,” Franklin detailed his future fight plans:

“I’d have to check my contract. I have at least one more fight, possibly two more fights left on my contract. I always said I would definitely fulfill my contract, so, looking at that, I at least have that much. I’m not saying I’m only planning on fighting once or twice more, but, as soon as I get this stuff going on my end with this juice business and things are kind of moving in the direction that they should be moving, then I am going to be focused more on, instead of recreationally training, back on specific fight training. Then I’ll look at taking another fight at that point in time which could possibly be toward the end of the year.”

Before current 185-pound kingpin Anderson Silva rolled into the Octagon and took his title, “Ace” was sitting pretty at the top pf the middleweight mountain and enjoying his spot as one of the faces of the promotion. After dropping two championship fights to “The Spider,” Franklin has been unable to climb his way back into the title picture, losing high profile fights to Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort and Forrest Griffin.

Moving up and down in weight class and partaking in catchweight bouts hasn’t helped his cause, either.

Nevertheless, as Franklin looks to secure his finances after MMA, he’s still planning on seeing his current contract through to the end … and perhaps even further. He also revealed that when he does return, Franklin will stick with the middleweight division, but is open to “super fights,” too.

And as the years creep up on the 37-fight veteran, he is determined to not hang around to the point that he’ll have to undergo testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) — something he’s kicked around before — to keep up with the younger generation of fighters.

For Franklin, “tarnishing” his image and dealing with all the backlash that comes with the controversial treatment just isn’t worth it.

Anyone care to throw out any potential opponents for Franklin once he returns to action?

Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

After last nights glove debacles, I revisited an interview I did with UFC featherweight contender, Cub Swanson, who detailed the problems he found with MMA gloves.

A few months ago, I interviewed UFC featherweight contender, Cub Swanson, shortly before his fight with Dustin Poirier. Cub, who has had a history of hand issues, now seems to have them sorted out, and hasn’t had fractures over the last couple years. One thing he spoke of during that interview, was his negative opinion of MMA gloves, and he went into detail of exactly why they are, in his opinion, ‘crap’. Here’s what he had to say:

I think MMA gloves are crap, to be honest. First off, they’re square. When they give them to you, they’re a square piece of 4 ounce glove. They say that they’re open fingered so you can grapple, and then you can close your hand to punch. I believe the gloves should be rounder, because we hit from weird angles. If you relax your hand, the way the gloves are now, the natural position is for the hand to be completely open, which is why so many people get poked in the eye. If they were curved, and you put them on and relaxed your hand, your hand would follow the curve, not completely open. You’d only have to squeeze a little bit to make a fist with a more curved glove. It’s a balance that’s missing with the current gloves. The padding, instead of just falling off at the sides, should follow the curve of the hand more.

When we get the gloves, the UFC tries to help out by sort of curving the gloves for you overnight. You also have to kind of stretch them out a little bit, because they’re brand new and stiff. Some commission guys, like in Toronto, they wouldn’t let anybody touch my gloves but me, and the problem with that is I can barely get them on. When you can’t break them in, they’re very uncomfortable. I had to put them on early and start hitting the pads early, the day of the fight, just so I could feel comfortable, and not have the circulation cut off in my fingers. If I do less handwraps, then I might break my hands again.

After last night’s eye poke stoppages, I thought now would be a good time to resurrect this quote. One thing is for sure, the manufacturers, commissions and / or promotions definitely need to look into coming up with a better design for the safety of the athletes.

You can follow Cub via his Twitter account, @CubSwanson

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In Sonnen’s post fight interview, he seemingly retired from the sport of MMA. Check out the quotes below to see what he had to say about his future with the UFC.

At tonight’s UFC 159 event, Jon Jones proved that he was by far the better fighter when he stepped into the cage against Chael Sonnen. Without a doubt Sonnen did his best to bring the fight to the Light Heavyweight champion, but he was completely overwhelmed by the champion’s ability. With less than half a minute left in the first round, Jones finished Sonnen with brutal ground strikes to retain his belt and tie the record for LHW title defenses.

Following the fight, Joe Rogan questioned Chael regarding his plans going forward. The defeated challenger replied solemnly:

He’s an excellent fighter, I have no problem with the decision or stoppage. He’s very powerful. When he went for the kill, I thought I was alright but I think he’s the better fighter.

I just wanted to beat him, I thought I could keep up with him. I was surprised at his power and his size. I’m disappointed. I thought I had more in me. Tonight Jon’s the man.

I’m gonna think it through. I’m not gonna be one of the guys to hang around. If there’s not a road to the title, this sport isn’t for me. I believe that was probably my last opportunity.

Going out following the two biggest fights of his MMA career would by no means lessen Chael’s accomplishments. He complimented an incredibly effective grinding style with a sometimes infuriating persona that drew in MMA fans to work himself to become one of the most prolific names in the UFC. If this was his last fight, the UFC will be losing something special that won’t be easily replaced.