Posts Tagged ‘Jon Jones’
Call it the knee-pop heard ’round the world.
It all took place over 31 frantic seconds on Oct. 9 in Barueri, Brazil. Entering the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 29, Rousimar Palhares had lost two straight bouts and desperately needed victory against Mike Pierce. In less time than it took weighing-in, Palhares won that fight but lost the MMA world’s goodwill. What went wrong in just over half-a-minute?
The answer is a textbook heel hook. Clamping down on Pierce’s exposed ankle, Palhares forced the tap with that dangerous maneuver. Over the next 3.08 seconds, “Toquinho” (Portuguese for “little tree stump”) didn’t release his vise-like hold. Instants later, his win plummeted from triumphant into tainted.
So much vanishes in those excruciating moments – wealth, glory, adoration. The extra suffering Palhares inflicted that night cost all three. Despite scoring UFC Fight Night’s only submission, “Toquinho” forfeited any and all bonuses for “unsportsmanlike conduct.” One day later, the UFC cut him for the same reason. Even if they hadn’t, glancing at any MMA forum shows backlash against Palhares is harsh, shrill and ongoing.
Overall, such punishments outweigh the crime. At 8-4 inside the Octagon following his heel hook debacle, Palhares is clearly UFC-caliber talent at 33 years old. Though he definitely sinned against Pierce, is it worth excommunicating “Toquinho” from the world’s top MMA organization for several seconds in error? The evidence points towards “no.”
For starters, the mental pressure Palhares likely suffered on fight night was equal or greater than the torque exerted on Pierce’s limb hours later. A career middleweight, “Toquinho” entered their standoff as a new welterweight. Having lost two bouts prior, the heat was on for Palhares’ reinvention at 170 lbs. Given three losses often earn UFC competitors walking papers, only debuting successfully could have saved Palhares from unemployment.
UFC Fight Night 29′s venue added extra tension. A native Brazilian, Palhares was defending his country’s honor against a foreign invader in America’s Pierce. In a country where fight fans chant “you’re going to die” in Portuguese at outsiders, failure isn’t an option for hometown heroes like “Toquinho.”
The icing on the cake was the fight itself. Prior to submitting Pierce, Palhares lost another potential leg-lock. In a sport where heart and willpower are all, no one goes quietly into the night. MMA lore bursts with comebacks – Jon Jones storming back against Alexander Gustafsson, for example – and defeat tastes especially bitter when cooking victory first. “Toquinho” is no exception, and he (understandably) wanted an indisputable finish against Pierce when sinking the heel hook in.
UFC Fight Night 29′s other players influenced its outcome for Palhares too. Take his bout’s third man – referee Keith Peterson let “Toquinho” crank his heel hook two whole seconds before jumping in. Though Palhares worked the hold another 1.08 seconds, Peterson has remained largely free of criticism for his oversight. This is troubling for two reasons. First, Peterson was nowhere near either fighter to quickly end the submission; second, he arguably assisted two-thirds of Pierce’s excessive imprisonment.
Pierce, meanwhile, came unprepared for Palhares’ grappling. Counting Pierce, “Toquinho” has taken 11 of 15 wins via submission, eight by leg-lock variation. In those 31 seconds, Pierce showed no takedown or submission defense for stalemating such proven specialization. Though Pierce is an excellent welterweight, the only reason fight fans are discussing his loss is that he couldn’t prevent it.
Cutting Palhares afterwards, the UFC cited his 2010 submission of Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111 as a factor in its decision. In that bout, Palhares also locked Drwal in a heel-hook past the finish. Old crimes, however, don’t always predict present behavior. “Toquinho” served a 90-day suspension for that transgression; more importantly, he also submitted David Branch and Mike Massenzio cleanly before facing Pierce.
This means 82% of Palhares’ submissions are by-the-book overall. His missteps against Drwal and Pierce are perhaps less habitual offenses and more isolated incidents. Though the UFC also cited elevated testosterone levels at last year’s UFC on FX 6 in dismissing “Toquinho,” it’s worth noting he tested clean after UFC Fight Night 29 as well.
It’s thus possible the UFC made an example out of Palhares as he wronged Pierce on free TV. MMA is still shedding its “human cockfighting” past; it hasn’t accrued enough social capital for blatant cheaters and possible PED users. Even if it has, Palhares’ eternal knee-crank seems more death match than legal sport.
None of this changes the legitimate danger Pierce faced in those tortuous seconds. MMA’s failure since is applying justice proportionate to that time. As of this writing, Pierce’s loss against Palhares has neither shortened nor stopped his MMA career. Banishing a fighter like “Toquinho” from the UFC – the sport’s highest peak – achieves exactly one or both those outcomes should he never return.
At day’s end, the UFC overreacted by disciplining Palhares before the full extent of Pierce’s injury (if any) emerges. It could most fairly punish “Toquinho” by suspending him in proportion to Pierce’s recovery time. At day’s end, an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind – and one combatant should only lose legs to stand on in the UFC if they undoubtedly take another’s first.
“Nobody wants to watch them on free TV. They’re pulling terrible ratings. If they want to get into the pay-per-view business, get ready to lose some money boys. Real money.”
- UFC president Dana White warned Bellator that the pay-per-view business is not friendly via mmafighting.com.
“Honestly, I feel like I’ve been re-born. My excitement, energy and aggression, it’s all back and bigger than ever. I feel like a kid again. The Rampage you’ll see Nov. 2 will be better than any Rampage you’ve ever seen. Everybody knows Tito and I have a very long history. He’s a former teammate and friend, and it’s one of the reasons I stayed away from the UFC as long as I did. But, I want to be very clear; any sort of friendship we once had doesn’t exist when that cage door shuts. I’ve got a ton to prove on November 2nd, and unfortunately for Tito he’s the guy I have to make an example of. He’s in my house now and Saturday, Nov. 2nd on PPV, it’s going to be a horrible night for Tito Ortiz.”
- Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson gave his thoughts on headlining the first-ever Bellator pay-per-view via Bellator press release.
“I’m back. Over the last few years, my passion for MMA was completely killed, dealing with UFC politics and with Dana. I didn’t have that drive to compete, my heart wasn’t in it. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’m free. Bjorn and Bellator put together an opportunity that made me part of the promotion, part of the family. I feel like I can breathe again and my old friend is going to be on the receiving end of all that happiness turned into an old school Tito Ortiz ground and pound beating. I’ve fought and beaten the very best in MMA history and on Nov. 2nd, Rampage will be the next huge win on my record. This is a new era for the People’s Champion.”
- UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz, now a Bellator competitor, chastised his former employer and spoke on his bout against “Rampage” via Bellator press release.
“It’s only the MMA diehards that want to see that fight. I have so many things going on. If she really wants to make that fight happen, I’m here.”
- Ronda Rousey talked to ESPN about the people that want to see her fight “Cyborg” Santos.
“He went out and bulled B.J. because he knew he could. He didn’t try to bully Ellenberger. Don’t come in and say my fight was great and technical and I belong in the top-10 and all this s—, and don’t go in there and try to perform. I don’t think he performed. I don’t think he did anything. He threw a few jabs and some front kicks.”
- At the UFC on Fox 8 post-fight press conference, White spoke on the lackluster bout between Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger.
“I hate answering questions about him. He’s just not relevant to me. There’s so many great fighters in the light-heavyweight division. He’s not even top five in his division. I’m not sure if he is.”
- Jon Jones admitted at the UFC World Tour that Daniel Cormier is not on his radar.
“Vitor drives me crazy man. Lorenzo can deal with Vitor, not me.”
- White spoke to OGlobo about the difficulties of matching Vitor Belfort with a suitable opponent.
“I’ve never made Jon Jones or Georges St-Pierre money, anyway. The thing I’ll miss the most is being a part of the greatest sport, the fastest-growing sport in the world. It’s so awesome to go out there and know I’m a part of the big show. The UFC really is the Super Bowl of mixed martial arts. It’s the biggest and best. It will be sad to not be a part of that anymore.”
- Aaron Riley talked to mmajunkie.com about his recent retirement
“I was sitting on the toilet and I heard screaming, ‘GSP! GSP are you there?! I was saying to myself, ‘Are you serious? Is he really calling me while I’m on the toilet right now?’ And I didn’t say a word. So I’m waiting and I’m like, ‘Shoot, I can’t believe he’s doing this to me.’ I’m a shy guy. I don’t like to be on the spot. So I wait. When I finished, I flushed and I even waited the next five minutes to make sure everybody that was in the [bathroom] when the guy called me … was gone, so it was different people because I don’t want to be put on the spot.”
- Georges St-Pierre, at the UFC World Tour, detailed a peculiar fan interaction.
“I don’t mind my goals being told aloud because then it makes me train that much harder. My goal is to fight at 185 (pounds) and hopefully win a belt there. That’s my real goal because, like I said, I walk around at 220.”
- Johny Hendricks admitted to MMA DieHards that he intends on vacating the welterweight division.
“I’ve always been physically ready. Every fight, I’ve always been in shape. I’ve always been there. Just for me it’s a mental thing because I can be a head case and that really has been what’s gotten me down in the past, but I took personal steps in my personal life, new relationships, new whatever it may be to just change for the better. I really am just happier and in a much better place than I can really ever remember, which is nice.”
- Ian McCall admitted to MMA Weekly that his life changes will be the key to his UFC success.
“I lost my focus and made a technical mistake. It was one of the things that I left – the philosophy of the martial art –and it cost me the belt. I always fought with this felling of keeping the martial art philosophy and keeping the control of the situation – trying to be as calm as possible for me to keep the balance of the octagon, which is very hard to do.”
- Anderson Silva explained to Mundo da Luta how he feels after his first UFC loss.
“Dana White has killed the sport that you and i love. The refusal to build stars. The reward for standing and wanging. THE UNIFIED RULES, have all killed the sport of mixed martial arts. I come to you humbly, as a student and teacher of the mixed martial arts. A man that has never tapped out, or been knocked out in mixed martial arts competition and ask that you do not support a corporate monarchy that favors a mark in the Win column, over showcasing the ART of MMA.”
- Jason “Mayhem” Miller took to The UG to address the UFC president.
Live video stream at 1p.m. ET, today, of the UFC World Press Tour in New York City. Guests include UFC president Dana White, UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, UFC heavyweight No. 1 contender Junior dos Santos, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, UFC light heavyweight No. 1 contender Alexander Gustafsson, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, UFC welterweight No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and UFC women’s bantamweight No. 1 contender Miesha Tate.
Video of the UFC World Press Tour in Los Angeles, Calif., which took place Tuesday. Guests include UFC president Dana White, UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, UFC heavyweight No. 1 contender Junior dos Santos, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, UFC light heavyweight No. 1 contender Alexander Gustafsson, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, UFC welterweight No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and UFC women’s bantamweight No. 1 contender Miesha Tate.
World championship headliners: UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Alex Gustafsson, UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, Johny Hendricks, UFC® women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate, will hit 11 cities in five countries while promoting the final four Championship Pay-Per-View events of a historic year punctuated by some of the biggest fights of all-time.
The World Tour Schedule
- July 29 – California Bay Area: Press tour with UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.
- July 29 - Las Vegas, Nevada – Main Lobby, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, 12 PM PT: Ultimate Media Day with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks. Free and open to the public.
- July 30 - Los Angeles, California –Club Nokia at Nokia Live, 11 AM PT: UFC president Dana White hosts a press conference live with UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson, UFC welterweight champion George St-Pierre, Johny Hendricks, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. Free and open to the public; streamed live on UFC.com.
- July 31 - New York, New York –Beacon Theatre, 1 PM ET: UFC president Dana White hosts a press conference live with UFC®heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, Johny Hendricks, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. Free and open to the public; streamed live on UFC.com.
- August 1 - Montreal, Canada – Complexe Desjardins, 12:30 PM ET: UFC Director of Canadian Operations Tom Wright hosts a press conference with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks. Free and open to the public; streamed live on UFC.com.
- August 1 - Houston, Texas –Toyota Center, 1 PM CT: Open workouts and interviews with UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos. Free and open to the public.
- August 1 - Stockholm, Sweden: Press tour with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson.
- August 2 – Dallas, Texas – Cowboys Stadium, 1 PM CT: Open workouts and interviews on the field UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks. Free and open to the public.
- August 2 – Chicago, Illinois: Press tour with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.
- August 2 - London, England: Press tour with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson.
- August 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – HSBC Arena, 3 PM BRT: UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos to participate in joint Q & A session prior to weigh-ins for UFC 163. Free and open to the public.
About The Upcoming Championship Pay-Per-View Events
UFC 165: JONES vs. GUSTAFSSON takes place Saturday, September 21 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, as reigning pound-for-pound king Jon Jones defends his light heavyweight title against a top-ranked challenger who can match him in speed, size and youth in Alexander Gustafsson. Both men have been calling for the showdown and, finally, the biggest 205lbs clash of the year is on. Tickets are available now atwww.ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.
UFC 166: VELASQUEZ vs. DOS SANTOS 3 takes place Saturday, October 19, from Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The fate of the world heavyweight championship will be decided when perhaps the two baddest men on the planet – UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and rival former heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos – collide for the third and perhaps final time in their blistering series. Mexican-American Velasquez regained the championship from Brazil-born dos Santos last December, pounding out a five round decision which tied the series 1-1 after dos Santo’s crushing 64-second KO win in their first fight in 2011. Tickets go on sale Friday, August 2 at www.houstontoyotacenter.com or by calling (866) 4-HOU-TIX.
UFC 167: ST-PIERRE vs. HENDRICKS takes place Saturday, November 16 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, where the longest-reigning champion in the UFC, welterweight king Georges St-Pierre, returns to the Octagon® to face No.1 contender Johny Hendricks. “GSP” will be fighting in the United States for the first time in three-and-a-half years, taking on his most dangerous challenger to date in the sledge-hammer handed “Big Rigg”. Tickets go on sale Friday, August 2 at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.
UFC 168: WEIDMAN vs. SILVA 2 closes out 2013 on December 28 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena with the most hotly anticipated rematch in UFC history with UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman’s defending his title against the dethroned king Anderson Silva. UFC 168 also features UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey who takes on bitter rival Miesha Tate in a rematch of one the biggest female fight of all time. Rousey ripped the championship from Tate in a breathtaking March 2012 war, however, nothing was settled in Tate’s eyes and now she gets her chance to avenge the most painful defeat of her career at UFC 168. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 27 at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.
Young champions with big expectations are the type Bellator’s Bubba Jenkins crosses paths with and gets compared to, so bring on the bright lights and let’s get it poppin’.
Jenkins (Twitter: @2sinsurrJenkins), who is undefeated with a 3-0 record, makes his Bellator debut against Mike Barrares at Bellator 97 on July 31 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Albuquerque, N.M. After just three professional MMA bouts, the 2011 NCAA Division I wrestling champion is prepared to put his skills on display in one the sport’s biggest promotions.
With all the hype surrounding Jenkins since he announced he was embarking on an MMA career, it’s not surprising to see him arrive in Bellator so quickly. The American Top Team combatant’s intentions from the beginning have been to compete in the UFC or Bellator, and those plans came into effect just 19 months ago when he debuted at TPF 11. Jenkins said he is excited to have accomplished this goal such a short amount of time, but seeking advice from those he respects was vital in his meteoric rise.
“It kind of came out of the blue and it kind of came from me trying to achieve something with by myself,” Jenkins told Jason Kelly and Corey Charron on MMA Cypher Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network. “A lot of the guys in the game come out of whatever profession they’re in, or whatever discipline their in, and they don’t know much management or much leadership, things like that. I just talked to a lot of people I know in the game, Phil Davis and (Jon) “Bones” (Jones) and all my friends and the people I look up to, I just try to get as much advice as I can. One of the opportunities that presented itself was going out to talk to Tito Ortiz inCalifornia.
“While being out there I got connected with Dave Thomas, he used to manage Tito Ortiz, and after talking to Dave Thomas and getting him as my manager, he presented the Bellator deal. I was out there with Tiki (Ghosn) and (Bellator CEO) Bjorn (Rebney) came out. Me and Bjorn talked and he said things like, ‘We’re going to take it slow and give you every opportunity you need to build. We really want the best for you.’ It was a good deal, a good opportunity and something I needed to jump on.”
Making the correct career choice, being able to advance for his own benefit and have continued success is something Jenkins proved he is capable of. There’s evidence in that from when he vacated Penn State due to disagreements with the coach midway through his collegiate wrestling days, only to join Arizona State University and win a national championship.
Jenkins uses adversity as a catalyst to conquer opponents and goals. In college, after the University of Missouri offered the wrestling standout a walk-on spot, as opposed to a scholarship during recruiting, Jenkins had a chance to get revenge when Penn State’s wrestling team met them on the mats.
The irony of it all today is that the wrestler on Missouri’s team, who Jenkins defeated, is currently the Bellator lightweight champion.
“It really wasn’t nothing against Michael Chandler, I held a vendetta against the school for not recruiting me,” Jenkins said. “You hear stories like that all the time from different athletes not getting recruited and then they roll with a chip on their shoulder. That’s what I had in college and Michael Chandler just happened to be the guy I was wrestling in the Missouri singlet.”
Jenkins said he is a big fan of Chandler and what the champ has accomplished since trading the wrestling mats for the canvassed cage. Like Chandler, Jenkins prides himself on being a blue-collar wrestler that transferred from an NCAA All-American collegiate athlete to a professional mixed martial artist.
The big difference betweenChandlerand Jenkins, or almost any new mixed martial artist on the scene, is that “The Highlight Kid” is expected to be a superstar. The hype surrounding Jenkins is seldom seen in this young sport of MMA, and when a competitor is expected to shine, they usually come from the kickboxing or jiu-jitsu realm.
When trying to compare Jenkins’ expected potential to an athlete of another sport, his brother likens it to a basketball sensation that shot out of high school to the NBA in 2003.
“I was talking to my brother the other day and he said that he Google’d me,” Jenkins said. “I don’t Google myself, and he doesn’t Google too hard on me. I always talk to him about things I’m working on, and my brother is around my age so we’re really close. I was talking to him, and he’s like, ‘You know, you kind of got some hype going on. You’re going to be like Lebron (James) was when they were expecting him to come out of high school.’ And that is what everyone wants to see. They want to see how I perform in Bellator on July 31.”
When speaking with Jenkins it is immediately observed that he is a positive young man, chalked full of intelligence with a strong desire to compete and be victorious. There is not doubt employing that attitude assists when dealing with the pressures of others’ expectations, however, greatness is something Jenkins feels he was placed on this earth for.
“That’s my thing,” Jenkins said. “I really do live up bright lights type situation. Once the lights are bright I really do perform and that’s the way I like it. Leading up to it I’m nervous as heck, don’t get me wrong, my heart is beating fast, my hands are sweating, but once the referee tells me it’s going, I just get it poppin’”
“St. Pierre had his chance to pronounce himself fighting me and he chose not to do it. [So] that’s what he chose to say.”
- Anderson Silva, on the UFC 162 media conference call, talked about Georges St-Pierre’s comments stating that Chris Weidman will finish the UFC middleweight champ.
“Jon Jones, in his class, is the best. If I fight Jon Jones, I’m don’t think I’m going to win. Jon Jones is different. He’s large. He’s young. But, in the fight, I see in Jon Jones, I see myself from a long time ago. He’s very smart.”
- A. Silva admitted to mmafighting.com that his chances of beating UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones are slim.
“Anderson is a guy that rubs many people the wrong way. He’s not a humble guy. Even though he may speak humbly when he talks, when he’s in the ring he doesn’t act humble. He puts down his opponents. He acts in a way that again, we always know what is right and wrong, and by looking at that, we know it’s wrong. It’s like you can beat your opponent, but do it with respect.”
- Renzo Gracie talked to the Fight Network about A. Silva’s respect, or rather lack of, towards his opponents.
“Unfortunately he got hurt but it was low class, I thought. I didn’t want to get into the whole talking thing. I got here legitimately and earned it. Ultimately, what he was saying was that he wanted my title shot which was incredibly disrespectful. It was pretty dirty.”
- T.J. Grant talked to The Telegraph about Anthony Pettis pining for the Canadian’s title shot.
“People ask me this question all the time and it’s the same answer all the time,” responded Rousey. “I would love to beat the sh*t out of Bryan Caraway, but apparently it’s not legal. And he seems like the kind of b*tch that would sue me.”
- Ronda Rousey confessed in a Metro PCS chat that Bryan Caraway is the male combatant she desires to fight the most.
“I think he’d be scared to get close enough to hit me because I’m not going to avoid anything he throws. I’m going to step right in the pocket and throw down. He’s not going to have any option but to be on the feet with me. Even if he has the skills to stand, he would not be able to handle my pressure, tenacity and desire to win. I think I’m one of the worst match ups for GSP.”
- Matt Brown told Bleacher Report that he is the one to defeat UFC welterweight champion St-Pierre.
“He talked all that s—. Did he think I wouldn’t find out? I got boys in Memphis, too. Talking about fighting me and this and that, but whenever I see his punk ass, he won’t even make eye contact. F— him and f— whoever is down with him and f— whatever gym he trains at. F— all them.”
- Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal let Jacob Noe know what’s up on MMA Sentinel Radio.
“The UFC is not going to give up any extra money if they don’t have to. They have so much power. God forbid if Dana White was gay. If Dana White was gay, he’d have fighters sucking (expletive). I guaranf—ingtee it. If he was gay, every fighter would have to suck his (expletive) to fight.”
“I will always be indebted to Dana White for helping me there. And I know he’s done that over and over again for other guys. He’s one of those guys who’s generous to a fault with helping fighters – helping people in general. You hear that over and over again. But he’s also a cutthroat business man.”
- Nate Quarry gave his stance on White to Bloody Elbow.
“Dana White really wanted me because I was the last guy Chuck (Liddell) wanted to get his revenge on,” Jackson explained when speaking to Bleacher Report. “Everybody was really nice to me, I’m telling you when I beat up Marvin Eastman, everybody, people behind the scenes at the UFC they’re really like a big family.
“Chuck was part of the family. They was all really nice to me, like a hog going to the slaughter, and then after I beat Chuck right away like 90 percent of them hated my guts. They didn’t talk to me no more, they didn’t smile at me when I came back there, it made me feel awkward.”
- Quinton “Rampage” Jackson talked to Bleacher Report about things changing after he defeated Chuck Liddell.
“I don’t think there’s anything quite like a knockout. But there’s something about this choke that’s the highlight of my career. I was glad the referee didn’t step in and I was able to get up and celebrate the way I wanted to. As a fighter and mixed martial artist, you’re trying to prove you can stop a guy, that your style of fighting is better than theirs. And any time you can put another person out cold, then you have definitively proved you were the better man on that day.”
- Josh Burkman recounted his submission over Jon Fitch via ESPN.
“Fighting to me is like a hobby. I just fought for fun. I never thought I’d be fighting as a career. I got my university degree; I worked at Dell computers for 10 years. I was working at Dell when I got the call from the UFC. I just did this for fun, and then I started seeing some of my friends make money. I was good friends with (UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre) for 12 years, I was friends with David Loiseau for 12 years, Mark Hominick, (Sam) Stout, I’ve known these guys since they started. I was doing it before all of them. I was one of the original Canadians. So, I was like, ‘Let me try a few more fights.’”
- UFC welterweight Sean Pierson admitted to MMA DieHards that competing in the UFC was never the intended plan for the pioneer in Canadian MMA.
“I put on produce about 300 events a year across Canada. I do concerts, I do corporate events, so I’ve got an events background. That’s what I do. When they sanctioned (MMA) in Ontario a couple years ago I was very interested. I had a few meetings with some interested sponsors and partners, but because everyone set out the gate to do fights, I just kind of said, you know what? I’ll just sit back and let the dust settle and see where we’re at in a couple of years. I didn’t want to say anything publically, which is everyone would put on a card and everyone would lose money and there would be nowhere for anyone to fight, and I’m kind of right. That’s kind of when I said, there’s a void in the market and let’s try to capitalize on it now.”
- Substance Cage Combat president Neil Forester spoke to MMA DieHards about ending the MMA drought in Ontario with SCC 1.
“All the pros, when you talk to all the fighters – every fighter out there that I’ve talked too that we’ve interviewed thinks Weidman is going to beat him [Silva]. Georges St. Pierre thinks he’s going to win so much that he didn’t even want to plan to fight Anderson.”
- UFC president Dana White talked at the UFC 161 pre-fight media scrum about UFC fighters picking Chris Weidman to defat Anderson Silva.
“Anybody can go out there and put on a fight. Chris Weidman is undefeated, he’s a tough guy and a fight is a fight, anything can happen. I believe in Anderson Silva. Anderson Silva is the best fighter on the planet. I think Anderson Silva is a bad fight for any fighter in any weight class. I’m not saying Anderson Silva is invincible.
Anderson Silva can be beat just like anyone else can get beat. But I think if Anderson Silva goes in there well trained and focused, I don’t think there’s a fighter on the planet that can beat him.”
- Ed Soares, manager of A. Silva, was on The MMA Hour and gave his thoughts about the champ facing Weidman.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. He’s got a hell of a chin, and can knock people out, and he ain’t going to be winning any (expletive) spelling bees any time soon. Okay? Not the smartest man you will ever meet.”
- White commented on Roy Nelson in the UFC161 post-fight media scrum.
“Having a lot of black friends, they would say that would be more of an Uncle Tom move.
“That’s what my friends were saying,” said Nelson. “And I was just like ‘wow!’ Hey it is what it is. You gotta do what you can do for the boss.”
- Nelson spoke to mixedmartialarts.com about Daniel Cormier tweeting that he wanted to beat “Big Country” for the UFC president.
“You know, I think it would be hard for Fitch to not underestimate me. I just don’t think there is a way that Jon Fitch can understand how much I have improved as a martial artist just by watching me. So I think he probably didn’t intentionally underestimate me, but, I’m sure that he thought, you know, that he was going to come in and win because he was healthy and training real well.”
- Josh Burkman, who choked Jon Fitch unconscious at WSOF 3, talked to MMA Mania about his bout with the former UFC welterweight No. 1 contender.
“You’re a (expletive) idiot to think that a rear naked-choke is the exact same as that front choke. And literally, when he goes limp, and he’s out, then he rolls him (expletive) over, let’s his head (expletive) flop to the thing, then stands up over him – he’s literally like this standing over him before Mazzagatti (expletive) gets in the picture.”
“The Nevada State Athletic Commission is going to keep this guy around until he seriously hurts somebody. That guy is dangerous. He’s dangerous.”
- White talked in the UFC161 post-fight media scrum about Burkman’s submission of Fitch, and the officiating of Steve Mazzagatti.
“With all due respect to T.J. Grant, Milwaukee is my town, and the fight with Ben is the fight everyone has wanted for years.”
- Anthony Pettis explained to mmajunkie.com why he wants a UFC lightweight title shot against Benson Henderson ahead of T.J. Grant.
“Yeah, that definitely happened. I beat Lyoto already. Ultimately, it was Dana’s decision to match me up with Gustafsson and not Machida, but I did mention to Dana that I had already defeated Lyoto, and the UFC 140 pay-per-view numbers were pretty terrible. If you have a perfectly healthy, young contender who is on a rampage, why not keep new opponents, new excitement for the fans?”
- Jon Jones talked to mmafighting.com about his next opponent, Alexander Gustafsson.
“Have you known Chael to tell the truth all the time? Or ever, for that matter? No, it’s absolutely not true, there is no truth to that whatsoever. It’s one thing for him to say what he says, but when it involves me in a little lie, I guess that’s when I have a problem with it. But I didn’t put a lot of stock into it because I think Chael’s proven that not everything that comes out of his mouth is the truth. Usually he texts me when he’s going to say something. I had no warning on that one.”
- Dan Henderson, in an interview with mmafighting.com, denounced Chael Sonnen’s claim that the two mixed martial artists set Jones up before UFC 151.
“I think Lebron is a dork, I don’t understand this whole thing. You have to understand, it frustrates me to hear that these guys are world champions. Look he won one world championships and was in the Olympic Games. It’s so aggravating to hear somebody win an NBA title and be called a world champion when it’s only done in America. If you’re not a global event where everybody can participate, you didn’t win a world title, you won a national title.”
- Sonnen was a guest on the Jim Rome Show and compared world champ versus national.
“I always wanted to call a B.J. Penn fight. There was a mystique with B.J. for a long time, then like everybody else, the game catches up to you. There was a time with B.J. Penn that he really had this mystique. Going up in weight classes, fighting Lyoto Machida, Renzo Gracie, it was insane what he was doing. This guy is interesting. Throughout history I’ve always been attracted to the interesting story, rather than a guy who just wins fights and is not interesting. I always liked the people behind the fighter, meaning their personality. I’ve come across so many interesting characters and I think (B.J.) would have been one of them.”
- Stephen Quadros admitted to MMA DieHards that there is one fighter he wishes he could commentate for.