Anderson Silva expands on his close relationship with both the Nogueira brothers. He partially credits them with his continued MMA success.
Shane Carwin quickly rose through the UFC heavyweight ranks, earning himself the interim title.
Just as quickly, Carwin’s body started disagreeing with him, forcing the engineer to retire from MMA recently.
Neck, back and knee issues were just some of the ailments that hampered Carwin, went 12-2 in his career, last fighting in 2011.
“I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders because it has been a struggle these last two, three, four years being in pain all of the time,” said Carwin, in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “MMA taught me a lot about myself. I was definitely meant to be a fighter in the cage. Don’t get me wrong. I loved the game of football. I still drive by the grass fields in the fall and smell that smell and it brings back memories, but being able to go one-on-one? That’s you. That’s 100 percent you. Anything you do in there is from your heart and mind. I think it’s the truest sport in the world today, as true as a competition can be in finding out who the best man is.”
Carwin added that giving up the sport he trained “since he was six” was very difficult, but he knew it was time.
Kudos to Carwin, who listened to his body and didn’t put any further wear or tear on it. Hopefully he enjoys retirement.
Mark Hunt has had enough of dealing with his visa troubles.
The UFC heavyweight is expected to fly to the U.S. and face Junior dos Santos next Saturday night.
However, thanks to a previous run-in with the law, coupled with increased security due to the recent Boston Marathon bombings, Hunt has found it difficult to secure travel from New Zealand to Las Vegas.
While the UFC informed reporters earlier this week that they were working hard to get Hunt cleared, “The Super Samoan” is ready to throw in the towel.
Today is the day if I don’t get visa today I’m going to start eating cake u guys didnt know bout cake day
— mark richard hunt (@markhunt1974) May 16, 2013
Bellator MMA has placed several interesting matchups on the June 19 event from Oklahoma.
The main event, featuring Michael Chandler defending his Bellator lightweight title against Dave Jansen, will be joined by the semifinals in the “Summer Series” light heavyweight tournament boasting King Mo Lawal and Renato “Babalu” Sobral.
Also, the heavyweight “Summer Series” begins with two semifinal round fights.
“This event is insanely stacked, and it’s the reason we are making this a jam packed three hour show,” Bellator chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “With a Lightweight Title fight, Mo, Babalu, War Machine and the start of our heavyweight tournament, this is going to be an amazing show start to finish on Spike.”
The main card airs on Spike TV, while the prelims stream online. The complete card is listed below.
Bellator Lightweight Title Fight: Michael Chandler (11-0) vs. Dave Jansen (19-2)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament: King Mo Lawal (9-2) vs. Seth Petruzelli (14-7)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament: Renato “Babalu” Sobral (37-10) vs. Jacob Noe (11-2)
Bellator Heavyweight Tournament: Vinicius “Spartan” Queiroz (6-3) vs. Rich Hale (21-5)
Bellator Heavyweight Tournament: Vitaly Minakov (10-0) vs. Ron Sparks (8-1)
War Machine (12-4) vs. Blas Avena (8-6)
Brandon Halsey (3-0) vs. Mike Brown (3-1)
Justin McNally (1-1) vs. Steven Artoff (5-1)
Keith Miner (5-4) vs. Damon Jackson (4-0)
Mike Maldonado (4-0) vs. Jason Sampson (10-1)
Brandon Girtz (8-2) vs. TBA (0-0)
Keith Berry (14-10) vs. Cortez Coleman (9-3)
As far as Junior dos Santos sees it, the UFC’s heavyweight division as separation.
You have the newcomers who are looking to break into the Top-10. The veterans inside the Top-10, and than another level.
In that level sits dos Santos and current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. The two have met twice before, with “Cigano” scoring a first round TKO victory and Velasquez winning the rematch in dominating fashion.
“Sure, Cain and I are going to fight each other many times throughout our careers,” dos Santos said, during a conference call. “We are, both of us, at another level (in the heavyweight division).”
Dos Santos will meet Mark Hunt at UFC 160 next week, and would likely secure himself another shot at the title with a win. He said the loss to Velasquez was “very difficult for me to accept,” and that “Cain was better than me, he fought better than me; that was his day.”
Overall, there really is a huge difference in the skill level shown by dos Santos and Hunt, but “The Super Samoan” always has that one-punch power.
After securing his first UFC heavyweight title, Cain Velasquez was unsuccessful in defending the belt, as Junior dos Santos finished him in the first round.
“To me, (defending the belt) is the most important thing,” said Velasquez, during a recent conference call. “To defend it, to hold on to it, this is the position I want to be in. I have to go out there and perform.”
Velasquez (11-1) stormed Silva the first time the two met, taking him down and earning a first round TKO victory. Despite that previous win, though, he knows this fight will be another animal.
“We saw what ‘Bigfoot’ can do in his past two fights. I can’t take him lightly. He is a tough competitor and has dangerous stuff in the Octagon,” he said. “I don’t see this as anything less than a grueling fight. That’s what I’m expecting.”
According to a report by MMAjunkie.com, Brandon Vera will make his return to the heavyweight division this coming August.
Vera, who last fought at 205 pounds inside the Octagon, will battle Ben Rothwell at UFC 164 on August 31 from Milwaukee.
“The Truth” was defeated by Mauricio “Shogun” Rua last year, dropping his overall record to 12-6. His last heavyweight contest came five years ago, as he holds wins over Frank Mir and Justin Eilers in the division.
Rothwell (32-9) has won just two of his five UFC bouts, including a loss to Gabriel Gonzaga in his most recent bout.
Roy Nelson, former winner of The Ultimate Fighter, gained entrance into the UFC by winning the reality series.
Prior to that, he had built his resume up through the regional ranks, competing against the best out there – not inside the UFC.
While “Big Country” hasn’t been able to solve some of the higher ranked fighters, he has won three straight, all of which have come via first round stoppages.
Nelson, appearing on a recent episode of Inside MMA, talked about his success and why the fans have flocked to support him.
“The fans love the long ball and everyone loves the knockout. It’s why everyone wanted to see Mike Tyson fight,” Nelson said. “Everyone just loves to see someone get knocked out.”
Currently, Nelson (19-7) is without a scheduled opponent. However, a match with Daniel Cormier has been rumored.
It’s been a trying period of two-plus years for Alistair Overeem, as the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion has fought just twice since joining the UFC.
Overeem (36-12) has split his two UFC appearances, besting Brock Lesnar and falling to Antonio Silva. The latter cost him a chance to compete for the UFC heavyweight title, which he earned by defeating Lesnar in his debut.
Nothing has been confirmed by the UFC in regards to Overeem’s appearance at the August card, or an opponent discussed.
Roy Nelson has been on a bit of a hot streak winning 4 out of his last 5 by KO/TKO. Nelson gives credit for his recent success to the bonus money he’s won. He says it allowed him to reinvest in himself.