Behind the scenes footage of UFC 134 and UFC Fight Night 25 in this first installment of Dana White’s UFC 135 video blog.
“I became a big distraction. I wanted to go and be part of that for one reason, which was to help Yushin. I could watch the show from my living room, but I wanted to be there and support him, and that was it. Quite frankly, I became a big distraction. It got a little bit out of hand even. The level of death threats got a little bit high. I reached 10 and…10 death threats and I think number seven was actually serious. By the looks in his eyes, it looked like he’d stabbed somebody before, so.. The final call came down to… Yushin had a sponsor who said, ‘Look, we’d rather he didn’t come. The feeling on the ground here in Brazil is this could actually turn into a true incident, so that was it. If a sponsor makes a request, you follow through with it. And it wasn’t my show. It wasn’t my night and I didn’t want to take any attention off Yushin. I truly believed he was going to win the championship and the last thing I wanted to do was take away from that… In Brazil they have two newspapers. Two newspapers kind of cover the whole country and one of those newspapers had me on the front page and I wasn’t even on the card. I was a little bit surprised that I had gotten so inundated with it. At the same time I was flattered. It just wasn’t my night. I wasn’t a part of this. I was no more than a fan and that’s all I ever wanted to be. I wanted to go out, be a fan, pat Yushin on the back, warm him up and support him that way — hold the water bucket for him.”
Brazilians making death threats to Chael Sonnen? That sounds about right.
Sonnen may not have got what many Brazilians think he deserves, but one Brazilian is confident Sonnen’s “time will come.” UFC middleweight contender Vitor Belfort talking to Tatame:
“I do want (to fight him), I’d really love to fight him, even more because of the crap he’s talked about Brazil. Actually I don t to give him this type of attention, I don’t know why everybody keep paying attention to what this guy says. His time will come, and when it comes, brother, it’s just do the job the way I’d do against any other opponent.”
I certainly don’t wish any physical harm upon Chael Sonnen, but that’s a fight I’d love to see. I’m sure the whole country of Brazil would love to see it too… ending with a bloodied Sonnen laid out on the canvas. Some more than others apparently.
Image via DiazBrothers.com
On this week’s edition of ESPN MMA Live, Jon Anik and crew recap UFC 134 and debate whether Anderson Silva is the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.
If you have trouble playing the video, you can also watch it on ESPN.com.
Um, so does the guy on the left know what he’s saying there???
HT: Fighters Only
I think it’s safe to say no one was more excited about Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s knockout victory over Brendan Schaub at UFC 134 than Team Nogueira. It even brought Anderson Silva to tears.
Chael Sonnen is going to have a field day with this.
I can only imagine what it was like to be in Rio for this… very cool.
HT: MMA Supremacy
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira shocked a lot of people on Saturday night when he knocked out Brendan Schaub at UFC 134. A loss would have resulted in big questions about Nogueira’s future, but with the victory, now the only question is who he fights next.
If you ask Big Nog that question, the answer is simple. As he told Tatame, Nog wants a rematch with Frank Mir.
I’d like to fight Frank Mir, I want to fight UFC Japan. I’d like to fight UFC Canada, which will happen later this year. Fighting Frank Mir is something I’d love to do. I’m motivated to fight him.
Nogueira’s game, but is Frank Mir? Well, he wasn’t exactly thrilled about it when the rematch was booked for UFC 119 last year, but in a recent interview with Middle Easy, Mir said he just wants to fight and it doesn’t matter who his opponent is (although he did name Alistair Overeem as someone he’d like to get in the Octagon with).
“I just want to fight again, it doesn’t matter who… Alistair Overeem would be cool if he actually came over. I think he’s a great fighter, I think he’s done a lot in this sport, his K-1 accomplishments, I think he’s an immediate threat. I’d like to test myself against him.”
Both match-ups have a lot of appeal, but if I had to choose one, I’d go with Mir-Nog 2 for the simple fact that I’d like to see Overeem fight the Velasquez-Dos Santos winner more than I want to see him fight Mir.
Oh and by the way, Mir doesn’t really care about fighting Brock Lesnar again, which has been rumored in recent weeks. “If it works out, it works out,” says Mir, but all that beef they supposedly had before the rematch at UFC 100… yeah, Mir admits most of that was manufactured to sell pay-per-views.
Shogun Rua’s first-round knockout victory over Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 was a big win for his career. As Dana White stated following the event, the victory puts Shogun “right back in the title hunt.”
“[That] was a big win for him,” White said. “The guy just lost the title to Jon Jones, who many people believe – I’ve got Jon Jones ranked No. 3 pound-for-pound in the world. (He) beats Forrest Griffin, who’s one of the top light heavyweights in the world. It put ‘Shogun’ right back in the title hunt.”
That’s good news for Shogun because he wants nothing more than to avenge his loss to Jon Jones.
“I’ve only had five losses,” Rua said in his native Portuguese. “I’ve managed to avenge all of them except Jon Jones and [Renato 'Babalu' Sobral]. ‘Babalu’ is my friend, and he’s on my team, so I wouldn’t think of doing that. The only guy left then is Jon Jones.”
In the meantime though, he’ll gladly take on whoever the UFC puts in front of him. As he told Tatame, Shogun’s not worried about the belt yet.
I’ll tell you something: this fight was the only one in my career that prevent me from sleeping the night before. I got a great win, I’m really glad about it. Mission accomplished, let’s move on… This division has many top fighters, and my goal is to focus on my next fight. I don’t worry about the belt yet. No matter who I’ll have to battle with, I’ll be 100% focused and I’ll only worry about that. When the time comes for me to fight for the belt, I’ll be ready.
It’s hard to say how many wins Shogun needs before he gets another crack at the title. It will come down to timing, who holds the title, how Shogun performs in his coming fights and how his knee holds up. If Rampage Jackson or Rashad Evans takes out Jon Jones and Shogun goes out and blasts a top light heavyweight, don’t be surprised if we see Shogun back in a title fight within the next year. If Jones hangs on to the title like most people expect though, I can’t see Jones vs. Shogun 2 as anything more than a last resort. That fight would be a tough sell.
A few observations about UFC 134: ‘Silva vs. Okami’:
-It would not surprise me in the least if years down the line we learn that Rousimar Palhares is friends with a six-foot tall anthropomorphic rabbit who tells him what to do and only he can see him. Or so he thinks.
-Apparently Thiago Tavares didn’t get the memo that standing and trading with Spencer Fisher for three rounds automatically gets you a “Fight of the Night” bonus.
-Luiz Cane: so much potential, so much fail.
-I admit that going into the Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira/Brendan Schaub bout I thought “Big Nog” was going to get killed. But damn was I pleasantly surprised when the legend made the young upstart kiss the canvas.
-Ross Pearson may have lost, but the technique he displayed and his ability to stick to his game plan – especially when getting blasted – impressed me quite a bit. I actually can’t wait to see him fight again.
-Forrest Griffin didn’t phone in that performance so much as he tapped it out in Morse code over an Old West telegraph. Yes, his wife is due to have his kid soon, but geez, at least act like you care about fighting in the UFC.
-Anderson Silva didn’t look great as much as Yushin Okami looked like a clown with no plan of attack whatsoever. No, wait, I take that back. Silva did look great. His opponent just completely spaced out.
Rundown of UFC 134 post-fight news and notes…
— Dana White didn’t have the attendance and live gate numbers for UFC 134 but he was blown away by the “sold out” crowd that filled the HSBC Arena last night, calling the loudest crowd he’s ever heard.
“I’ve been doing events all over the world for the last 10 years. Brazil wins for the loudest crowd ever. The cool thing about this show, too, was the place was packed from the first fight of the night. The first fight of the night sounded like the title fight. We might be here every weekend.”
They played it safe for their first trip back to Brazil in over a decade, but not next time.
“This was a successful event before it even happened. The reality is that we came in, and a lot of people were looking for tickets for this event. We could have sold more tickets. We could have done some big, huge, major events out in the streets, including the weigh-ins and everything else. We wanted this one to go smooth, get it behind us and move on to the next one.”
Dana noted that nearly 30 million people tuned in to see the fights on TV in Brazil last night. It’s clearly a major market for them. Like they have in Canada, the UK and Asia, Dana says it makes a lot of sense for them to open an office there.